White Peaks Cafe in Kew Gardens Set for Demolition

Plans to replace it with a new learning centre for secondary school children

The White Peaks Café in Kew Gardens. Picture: Steve Daniels

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ChiswickW4.com and BrentfordTW8.com

March 3, 2023

A well-known part of Kew Gardens could soon be transformed under plans to knock down a family café and build a new facility in its place. The White Peaks café would be replaced by a learning centre in a bid to boost the number of secondary school kids visiting the world-famous botanical garden if the proposals are approved.

White Peaks has been shut since a new restaurant and shop opened at Kew in 2021. The Family Kitchen & Shop can be found next to the Children’s Garden, which opened in 2019. A planning application for the latest changes has been submitted to Richmond Council.

A description of the application on the council’s website requests the “demolition of the existing ‘White Peaks’ development and replacement with a new part two, part single storey building and associated hard and soft landscaping, to provide a new learning centre” at Kew. More details provided in documents submitted for the application will be available to view on the website at a later stage.

Kew Gardens said the new centre would provide first-class learning opportunities for a range of audiences.

A spokesperson for Kew Gardens said, “White Peaks has been closed since we opened the Family Kitchen & Shop at Kew Gardens in 2021. Next to the popular Children’s Garden, which opened in 2019, the Family Kitchen & Shop is a multi-sensory eatery offering families a place to eat and drink, but also to engage with the natural world and learn more about where food comes from, discovering the important role which plants and fungi play in all our lives.

“A learning centre on the site of White Peaks will allow us to provide a bespoke and fit-for-purpose learning space, designed to facilitate first-class learning opportunities and inspire a range of audiences – early years, school pupils and teachers, adults, community, and access groups.

“One of our priorities in Kew’s Manifesto for Change is to inspire the next generation, we aim to increase the numbers of secondary school pupils visiting Kew Gardens and encourage them to consider plant and fungal science as a career choice, and we hope to enable expansion of learning programmes at Kew onsite through increased indoor space and offsite through live streaming plant science lessons to pupils and teachers in the UK and internationally. Plans for the learning centre are currently in the planning permission phase.”

Richmond Council will make the final decision on the application at a date yet to be set.

Charlotte Lillywhite - Local Democracy Reporter

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