Release Date: 16 March 2018
Over £100k funding grant secured to develop new Supplementary Planning Document for Kneller Hall in Whitton, home to the Royal Military School of Music.
Two years ago the Ministry of Defence (MoD), who own the site, announced their decision to sell Kneller Hall as part of a wider estates disposal plan. At the time, the Council expressed concern and disappointment that a site of such key national, cultural and military heritage could be sold off.
Specifically, the Council is concerned about the loss of green, open space. The site dates back to 1850 and consists of a number of buildings, including a Grade II listed Victorian neo- Jacobean mansion, with large parts designated as Metropolitan Open Land, giving it the same protection as a green belt site. Since the announcement, the Council has given legal protection to over 300 trees on the site. This includes oak, lime and horse chestnuts. This protection will ensure they remain as an important part of any new development.
Now, the Council has received £130,000 funding from the Cabinet Office Government Property Unit and the Local Government Association to create a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for the site. This would ensure that any future development on the site can as far as possible meet community needs.
Over the next few months the Council will work with the Ministry of Defence to look at the scope of the SPD. It will then carry out consultation and engagement with residents, businesses and local groups to establish what their priorities would be for the site.
Cllr Pamela Fleming, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Environment, Business and Community, said:
“We need to do all we can to ensure when Kneller Hall closes that this historic site is used in a way that benefits the local community, this is a once in a lifetime unique opportunity. Future development must respect the character of this Grade 2 listed building and we want to see the MOL open space protected as a park.
“We will be working closely with the Ministry of Defence to create a planning document that any future developer of the site would need to have reference to. To create this we will work together with residents to form a strong, well-researched view of the most appropriate way for the site to be used.”
If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.
Updated: 29 March 2018