Gunnersbury Park plan for Butterfly House
New facilities would replace those to be lost at Syon Park
The London Butterfly House and its 2,000 butterflies are seeking a new home after 24 years. The museum's current lease, which expires in September 2005, will not be renewed due to the Duke of Northumberland's plans to build a 155 room £35m Five Star Radisson Edwardian Hotel in Syon Park despite local opposition.
The Duke, who is worth an estimated £300 million, was granted planning permission to build the hotel by Hounslow Council at the end of last year. The development means that the Butterfly House and a number of other attractions currently located within Syon Park will not have their leases renewed so will have to either relocate or face closure.
Proposals to move the Butterfly House to Gunnersbury Park have been in the pipeline for some time and were last discussed at the Chiswick Area Committee (Planning) meeting at the beginning of this month.
The planning application to relocate the popular attraction to Gunnersbury Park includes the suggestion to erect a new building on the site of the Old Bowling Green (near Popes Lane entrance) which is currently unused and falling into disrepair.
The new building will house 'The Tropical Experience' which comprises three separate, but linking, walk-through environments - The Tropical Garden, The Tropical Aviary and The Tropical Mini-Beasts Gallery.
In addition to the tropical displays, a children’s indoor soft play area and other facilities including a reception, gift shop and educational facilities are proposed.
Local residents groups and committees have been consulted and to date Hounslow Council have received only support for the plans which should attract an estimated 75,000 visitors bringing revenue and employment to the area.
The issue of additional traffic has been addressed with proposals for more efficient use of the existing car park which currently has no space markings.
Plans have been agreed in prinicple but the issue of funding still remains.
January 24, 2005