News Update 9 February 2020

Last Friday the Friends Group learned from Stefania Horne, Head of Parks and Leisure at the London Borough of Hounslow, that contractors for the developer of the marina at Watermans Park will be starting work in the Park from 10 February.

At this we point we do not have much detail other than the first steps will be to secure the eastern part of the Park which has been leased from the Council for the new marina car park and storage building and access path to the new moorings.

The Council’s Corporate Property team say that from March the contractors will commence breaking up the remaining vessels by the Park and start the ground works for the car park/facilities and marina.

They advise that while the final timetable for construction is awaited they do not anticipate that substantial works for pilling and the pontoons will commence before May. We do not know but assume that this is a recognition that the contractors will need to take account of the planning consent condition that “no demolition or construction work shall take place during the bird breeding season for Heron (March – mid May) …”.

Stefania has promised more information as it becomes available. We are particularly interested in the anticipated timescales for the development and impact on visitors to the Park during works. And, following our meeting with Stefania in January, I also wrote asking for details of how and when the Council intends to satisfy its obligations set out in the 2016 planning consent to enhance the Park which is a key concern for the Friends Group.

Since the 2016 planning consent was granted the Park we now know that the westbound cycletrack of CW9 will pass through the Park. The Friends Group is keen to understand the impact of the design of CW9 on the Park and the basis and any conditions related to compensation to be provided by TfL and how it is to be used. The Transport Projects team at the Council are seeking to set up a joint meeting between TfL, representatives of the Council and the Friends Group.


Brentford Fountain

At the Friends Group meeting in January, Jim Storrar of Brentford Voice gave an interesting talk on the history of the Brentford Fountain and its hoped-for journey from the Western International Market in Southall back to Brentford. Jim was seeking Friends Group support for the Fountain to be re-located in the Park.

While there was much support for bringing the Fountain back to Brentford the Friends Group considered that the Park was not the right location. In particular, there remains much uncertainty surrounding the Park enhancements promised as part of the planning consent for the marina, the scale of the Fountain and space needed for it to be properly appreciated, even more green space would be lost on top of that to be lost to the marina infrastructure and CW9.


Interpretation boards in the Park

Brentford Voice have plans for a Heritage Trail from Kew Bridge to Brentford Bridge. The Friends Group would also like to see interpretation boards in the Park that draw attention to the ancient and industrial heritage of the site. We have agreed to co-ordinate and agree the best approach to interpretation boards as there are so many common interests, especially the involvement of the Local History Society.


Philip Jones

Chair, Friends of Watermans Park

9 February 2020