Following the local furore about alleged ‘secret meetings’ to decide where to build on Gunnersbury Park, Eaing and Hounslow Councils are looking for consultants to assist them in preparing an options appraisal for the Park.
The Councils issued another joint statement on October 7 in an attempt to quell persistent rumours of clandestine plans to build on part of the Park. The statement repeated much of what they said in their previous statement, in August, and this time the Councils hope the locals will hear what they say.
In the statement, leader of Hounslow council, Cllr Peter Thompson, said: “There has been much speculation in recent weeks about Gunnersbury Park and plans for its future. I am very happy to be in a position to set the record straight."
“Gunnersbury Park has suffered from years of historic underinvestment and neglect. The new administrations in Ealing and Hounslow are committed to safeguarding this wonderful resource and to preserving it for future generations".
“Let me be very clear. There is no secretly adopted plan to build on the park. Nor is there any intention to take decisions about the park’s future without the fullest involvement of the community as a whole. Since September last year, a small group of members and officers from both Ealing and Hounslow have been meeting informally to explore the possibilities. It is worth stressing that this (working) group has no decision-making powers."
“A conservation management plan has already been produced after consultation with all stakeholders. The task now is to look at the options which are available to us to turn that vision into a reality. Therefore, the councils are jointly commissioning an “options appraisal” and have asked a number of recognised specialist consultancies to bid for this work. The results of that work will be seen early in the new year and we intend to launch the fullest possible public debate on all of the potential options at that stage."
The next meeting of the working group, on October 16, will be held in public, again this is to dispel rumours of a Council conspiracy.