Visitors to the park will have seen that all but one of the wrecks in the river to be removed for the first phase of the moorings development (which starts at the eastern end of the park and does not go quite as far west as the vessel Lis) have now gone. Removal of the last wreck is more complicated than the rest because it is structurally unsound and cannot be re-floated. The developer is taking advice about the best way to safely remove it.
Works in the river require a licence from the Marine Management Organisation who will be concerned to ensure environmental protections are in place during the construction of the moorings. Removal of existing concrete and timber posts and building the new moorings cannot therefore take place until the developer has a licence to do so. An application should have been submitted last week and once accepted there is typically a 12-week consultation period. The time schedule for completion of Phase I of the moorings is therefore uncertain. When the Friends met the developer last week they thought the end of 2021 was feasible although this seems a stretch to the Friends. The Council confirmed that contractual terms require completion by end of March 2022.
The construction of the car park / facilities building at the east of the park continues and is expected to be completed in the next 3 - 4 months. An entrance was opened up in April with quite a steep ramp into the park. Steps have now been built and will be opened once a safety hand railing is in place in the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, Rob Petrow, a landscape architect, has been engaged by the Council to update his 2016 landscaping plans to reflect the planned route of Cycleway 9 through the park. Although it is not yet known when TfL will schedule C9 to be built the landscaping plans need to assume it will be. The Friends Committee recently met with Rob to discuss the impact of C9 and features that could be included in the park. The Friends are expecting Rob to present his updated plans in July and will provide a date and time for your diaries when known.
The 2016 plans included improvements to the Children’s Play Area. The Council’s parks team and the Friends have engaged two local primary schools - Green Dragon and St. Paul’s - to ask their pupils about what type of activities they would like to do in the park. The Friends are looking forward to their feedback. There is also an online survey which you can find at https://haveyoursay.hounslow.gov.uk/parks/watermans-park-play-area/. The online survey closes on 30 June.
If you have any questions, would like to receive updates from or join the Friends, please contact Philip Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.