Colour of signs to be changed to make them less visually intrusive
Gunnersbury Park car park visualisation from planning documents
The management of Gunnersbury Park have submitted a new planning application to allow them to start charging visitors for parking using ANPR cameras.
A previous application was declined by Hounslow Council planners who decided that the signs and equipment proposed for the parking area were visually intrusive and detracted from the environment of the park by creating unnecessary clutter.
It has been decided not to decrease the size of the signs despite pre-application advice given by the council planning team which said they remain excessive for this sensitive heritage context.
The advice stated that there would need to be clear justifications and technical reasoning for the designs submitted.
The park’s management commissioned a report from a heritage consultant which concluded that the car park itself was not an integral part of the heritage site.
A report was also submitted by the firm which will be managing the car park, Gemini, that said that the signs needed to be as large as proposed to allow motorists to read them while they were in their cars. It also claims that the number of signs proposed are the minimum necessary to meet the relevant guidelines.
Although the size of the signs remains the same, the colour will be changed from the original blue and yellow designs which was considered garish to a green and yellow display similar to that used at National Trust sites.
It is understood that there is no intention to revise the controversial arrangement between the park’s management and parking firm Gemini in which the latter would not receive a management fee but rely on revenue from fines issued to visitors to the park. Some residents felt this could lead to unfairness in the way fines were administered and concerns were expressed that, during busy periods, visitors could be fined while overrunning their allotted time while queueing to leave the park.
The main car park is located to the south of Popes Lane in between Gunnersbury Park Tennis Court and Capel Manor College and consists of approximately 250 parking spaces, including some for blue badge holders. The second car park is located outside the museum and consists of approximately 25 parking bays for blue badge holders only.
The car park has, up to now, always been free for park users but the management says this is putting a strain on availability due its use by commuters. The new sports hub in the park is expected to generate a significant increase in visitors.
No charges have yet been set for the car park but it is indicated that a level of around £2 a hour will be charged when approval has been given. Blue badge holders will be offered free parking when using one of the facilities on park by validating their stay at on a touch screen device.
The applicant reference is P/2021/1588.
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