Kew Gardens come out against development

Complaint made that St. George's plans would compromise bid for World Heritage Status as opposition to the scheme grows

Architects drawing of plans)The controversial St George�s development planned for Kew Bridge received further condemnation this week when Kew Gardens spoke out against the proposed project. A spokesman for the Gardens confirmed that they have lodged a complaint and stating �We are against the scale of the proposed building. Our nomination for World Heritage Status has made us even more concerned about our immediate environment.�

They are just one voice amongst many which include English Heritage, residents� groups and councilors. A petition containing more than 200 names has been sent to London Borough of Hounslow�s planning department who denied this week that the scheme had already been rejected.

The West Chiswick and Gunnersbury Society have also spoken out against the plans. Terry Thorn of the society said, "Its design is unimaginative and out of character with the other building in the area. A number of which are grade two listed and of 19th century design. It will overlook Kew Gardens (a possible World Heritage Site) and the Strand on the Green Conservation area. Its design will also overpower the tower of the Steam Museum, which is the natural focus point of the area."

Concerns were also raised about the effect on traffic and the pressure it would cause on existing parking space and transport infrastructure. The society did praise the concept of a public piazza, the improvement it would bring to the Thames Pathway and the provision of the "wetlands" area. The society said they would be supportive of a plan more in keeping with the area.

Alan Sheerins, a leading campaigner against the development said ��People were shocked by the scale of the proposed development, it would be completely inappropriate for the site and would blight the lives and homes of local people and affect local businesses. We must stand together against this type of development, I know that local Labour, Conservative and ABeeC Councillors are against it. We must give them and the Council every support to ensure an appropriate development is agreed for the site.�� He thanked Gordon and Liz Rough of the Express Tavern, for their support in getting the petition signed.

June 27, 2003

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