Current Proposal

Taken from Current Owners website

19th January 2018 Big picture update

So, a lot has happened over the last few months ... and here is a summary of it, the highs and lows, and where we currently are (I think !) -

1 - at the recommendation of the local councillors, we withdrew the previous planning application (on the basis it would have allegedly been refused). Shame - and a much longer story.

2 - the friends of HPH really came into their own and into the foreground. A lesson well and truly learnt by me for next time to involve them earlier. I can't say thanks enough to Katy, Marianna, Angela, Jules, Sam, Richard, Rich, John, Akhil, and to Mike Foston. The coverage and local interest has been amazing and overwhelming - I was with an ex Govt minister the other day and we agreed that we could not ever recall a scheme of this complexity and nature having such public and local support. I have never been a facebook fan but with more than 7,000 people viewing Richard Griffiths scrabbling around in the under growth on a Sunday afternoon - nothing amazes me anymore ! Without listing the dozens of events, postings and things being done - I can only direct people to the HPH facebook page or the friends web site (www.hanworthparkhouse.co.uk) for more info. Local people should be proud of them - the previous community benefits that came with the hotel consent were that local people could come and look through the windows ! Currently, the community will be having exclusive access and rights over the entire basement and ground floor rooms that were the most historically significant. This equates to more than 10,000 sq ft of community space and terraces in and around the house, with plans for a museum, cafe, artists studios, tech hub, micro business space, play areas, community library, and various community development and charitable space. It's a pretty good outcome and I can't think of any other major mansion offering this kind of community space ...

3 - I have not yet met a person who does not want to see the house saved and restored for the local community / future generations. Clearly, the challenge is converting all these amazing words into progress and a solution.

4 - Over the last few weeks, we have been speaking with Historic England and LBH Conservation to find a solution that provides a meaningful restoration whilst producing a smaller scheme that LBH would find acceptable in both community benefits and their perception of the impact on the green belt.

5 - It will need some 'fine tuning' but the current thinking is to pare back some of 'grand restoration' costs (that produced the 247 unit scheme) and to only focus on a conservation restoration on the public areas of the house and the exterior facade. The rest of the house will undergo a modern high quality sympathetic conversion and the formal gardens will be scaled back a little. It will still look fantastic. The net result is that we end up with a housing scheme that is less than 50% of what it was, and smaller in footprint and volume than the consented hotel scheme.

6 - We will never escape from the fact that any development will occur on green belt. However, it is critical to recognise that this is the best solution to save the house - it uses less green belt than the consented hotel scheme, creates 10 acres of new green belt, and provides the local community with an amazing suite of community benefits for the future.

7 - From here on - it really is within the gift of LBH and GLA whether Hanworth Park House is saved or not. Yet again, we have delivered what has been asked in terms of impact on green belt, size of enabling development (housing) and a massive increase in community benefits.

 8 - Many of you have seen the house and now appreciate just how precarious a position it is in. If LBH are not prepared to support this scheme and sell (or swap) a tiny piece of land to enable it to be built, or support development on my land - then unfortunately, there is no solution. In the next few months - we will all know which one it is. I can only continue to hope that those people entrusted with the responsibility to represent their community will do so in this instance. What I do know is that every single person from a conservation perspective who has visited the house - has said how amazing it would be if this house was saved from a quarter of century of neglect and how amazing it would be for those local people who have an affinity or relationship with it and would get to enjoy it in the future.