Hounslow Council has been working with the owners of Hanworth Park House to develop a workable options to bring it back into use and maintain it for the future.
Hanworth Park House is an important part of the borough’s heritage, which is in private ownership. After over thirty-odd years of gradual decline, the House is now at risk of collapse and requires a large investment to restore it to its full potential, and successive owners have been unable to develop workable plans and secure the resources required to do so. The council has been working with the owners of the site to develop a workable options to bring the House back into use and maintain it for the future.
In order to afford to restore the House, the owners are proposing to build a significant housing development – over 200 homes – on part of the surrounding parkland. However, the scale of funding needed would mean that the proposed housing development would not include any affordable housing, which would not conform with planning policies. The proposal is unlikely therefore to be approved by the council.
The council has proposed to invest its own funds to build the necessary affordable homes that would make the owners’ proposal comply with planning requirements, and therefore, enable the House to be saved. The plans for restoring the House must be agreeable to Historic England, and must also include opportunities for significant community use with public access, which the owners are working with community groups to ensure.
The owners are currently discussing their proposals with Historic England, and once satisfied, they should then submit a planning application for the council to consider. At that time, the council will also submit proposals for the enabling affordable housing on council-owned land, which will also contain proposals for improving areas of the park and widen public benefits.
Cllr Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council, said: “The House and grounds are an important asset for the borough, and we want to see it back in use, particularly, for our communities to benefit. We understand the difficulties that the owners face in finding the right proposals and investment needed to restore the House. That is why the Council has worked with the owner to find viable solutions for doing this which can be acceptable to the planning authorities, and we are prepared to invest significant council funding to make this happen.”
The current owners acquired the house in 2014, when it had consent for refurbishment and extension to produce a 166 bedroom hotel.