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«Foreword Kneller Gardens are a vitally important asset for local people and visitors to the borough. The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames will ...»

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Kneller Gardens are a vitally important asset for local people and visitors to the borough.

The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames will aspire to maintain and manage the

Gardens to the highest standards.

This management plan is based on the use of an audit of the Gardens following central

government guidance known as PPG 17. This is explained within this document but the

approach is based on common sense. We believe that it is important to get the simple

things right. Is the green space clean and tidy? Is the grass cut? Are the trees and shrubs well maintained? Is the graffiti removed effectively and quickly?

Working with local communities to deliver the highest quality of service is top priority and it is hoped that this document will provide a framework for continuing and improving dialogue. The site will be maintained appropriately and the local community in the form of the Friends of Kneller Gardens will be consulted on any proposed changes or improvements to facilities.

We actively encourage suggestions both regarding the management and maintenance of the park and ideas about changes or possible improvements to elements of the park’s infrastructure or its facilities.

While the council is open to the changing needs of the local community with regards to facilities within any of the borough’s parks, the Gardens are a long established and are well maintained. Further changes to the Gardens or its facilities are not envisaged.

There have been major renovations that are detailed below: these include the ongoing major renovation of the pavilion building and the installation of a new playground.

Parks officers, working closely with colleagues in Veolia and using a partnership approach regularly monitor Kneller Gardens. Members of the local community are also encouraged to let us know their impressions about the level of maintenance as well as their ideas for improving the facilities It is hoped that the resulting observations and ideas will result in continually improving management and maintenance practises, as well as careful consideration of ideas to improve and maintain the Gardens.

The current financial situation will inevitably have a detrimental affect on the resources available to improve and maintain the borough’s parks and open spaces. The tightening of available budgets seems likely for the foreseeable future. The borough will continue to work closely with its partners, in this case Veolia, to maintain standards. In addition we will need to look for additional ways of funding to maintain and improve the boroughs parks, one of our most valuable assets.

Central to our determination to maintain and if possible improve the facilities and infrastructure of parks and open spaces across the borough is the current review of the Parks and Open Spaces Strategy which is due to completed by May 2010.

Kneller Gardens lies on the West London Green Chain– a green wildlife corridor of some 30 kilometres in length that extends from Harrow in north London, along Yeading Brook and the Crane, to meet the Thames at Isleworth. This is one of the major green corridors of London and is of great value for wildlife movement as well as a public amenity resource. Its importance as a wildlife corridor was first recognised in planning terms by the West Middlesex Regional Plan in 1924 and it is considered to be one of the major wildlife corridors of London.

Kneller Gardens is also close to an area which has been identified as deficient in open space. Analysis shows that Twickenham has a 39% deficiency in district open space because residents are more than 1.2km from a district park. A number of barriers which result in pedestrian severance were identified and these include the A316 and railway lines. The park therefore serves a population of Twickenham, Whitton, and Heathfield.

There is also anecdotal evidence that park users come from further afield – Hanworth, St Margarets, Sunbury, Teddington, Hounslow, Ashford, Hampton, Isleworth and Feltham.

Kneller Gardens, as part of the larger Crane Valley Park. This scheme aims to bring together currently fragmented open spaces along the River Crane, while retaining the identity of individual spaces. Crane Valley Park is part of the Mayor of London’s Priority Parks scheme to improve 10 parks in London.

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1.0 Introduction

1.1 This Management Plan for Kneller Gardens provides guidance for the management and any relevant development of the Gardens over the next five years. It utilises the methodology outlined in the Government’s Planning Policy Guidance note 17 (PPG

17) in order to audit the state of provision of features and facilities in the Gardens.

The Plan includes an Action Plan, which we aim to achieve within the remit of current budgets. The Plan has been drafted for a broad audience interested in the

development of the gardens namely:

• The Friends of Kneller Gardens and borough residents

• The Friends of the River Crane Environment (FORCE)

• The Parks and Open Spaces Service

• Other services and departments within the London Borough of Richmond

• Elected members, ward councillors and portfolio holders

• National agencies

• Local businesses The Plan will be reviewed and updated on an annual basis.

Following this Introduction the Management Plan is set out in the following sections:

Section 2: Outlining the National Context.

Section 3: Describes the plan’s relationship to the Council’s aims and objectives.

Section 4: Site Description and audit of facilities Section 5: Vision and objectives for the site.

Section 6: Management principles and practices and includes the Action Plan.

2.0 The National context

2.1 Parks are managed areas of the green environment which provide opportunities for a range of formal and informal leisure, passive and active sport, recreation and play.

2.2 The significance of parks, open space and countryside provision is clear:

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2.3 It is widely recognised that the provision of high quality ‘public realm’ facilities such as parks can assist in making an area as an attractive place to live and work, and can result in a number of benefits in terms of economic development and regeneration. A local park can also play a big part in promoting healthy living as a place for people to exercise.

2.4 The benefits of safe and accessible parks and open spaces can be summarised

as follows:

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- helping to reduce social exclusion and its associated costs to society Environmental

- providing habitats for wildlife as an aid to local biodiversity

- helping to stabilise urban temperatures and humidity

- absorbing pollutants in the air and ground water

- providing opportunities for the recycling of organic materials

- providing opportunities to reduce transport use through the provision of local facilities, and by providing walking and cycling routes through urban areas 3.0 Relationship to Council’s Aims and Objectives

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• To the physical, social and economic regeneration of the borough

• To the greening, attractiveness and biodiversity of the area Accordingly this Management Plan and the Parks and Open Spaces Service are guided by and are in agreement with the aims, objectives and principles of the following plans and strategies. These can be found at www.richmond.gov.uk 3.1 Richmond’s Community Plan All Council's are now required to develop a Community Plan as part of their commitment to delivering more 'sustainable communities'. The Community Plan is a top tier strategy that sets out how the Council will target, manage and monitor its services for the benefit of all local people. The Community Plan has been created in partnership with residents and key local stakeholders and is

reviewed on a regular basis. The vision of the plan is:

• Inclusive

• Puts protection of the environment at the core of its services and community life

• Delivers quality public services that truly reflect the needs of all its local people

• Addresses its challenges by harnessing the capacity of all its partners in the public, private, voluntary and community sector.

3.1.2 Parks and Open Spaces Strategy 2003

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• To conserve and where possible enhance Richmond’s variety of habitats and species, in particular those which are of international or national importance, are in decline locally, are characteristic to Richmond or have particular public appeal, which can raise the profile of biodiversity.

• To ensure that Richmond residents become aware of, and are given the opportunity to become involved in conserving and enhancing the biodiversity around them.

• To raise awareness and increase stakeholder involvement in maintaining and where possible, enhancing species and habitats of importance.

3.1.4 Other relevant council policies

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4.0 Site Description

4.1 Outline History of Kneller Gardens Kneller Gardens is on land previously owned by the Jubilee Farm Estate. The original proposals for the park were outlined in the minutes of the Council’s Lighting and Pleasure Grounds Committee. (8th July 1930 agenda item 4). This Committee refers to the development of a “recreation ground” to serve the needs of the new developing housing estates, with the objective of “providing the children of the district a large amount of healthy recreation.” Proposals included “a children’s playground, cricket or football pitch, four hard tennis courts, a riverside walk, and other necessary paths, planting of trees and shrubs etc., together with pavilion, conveniences, etc”. There was also a suggestion that further tennis courts and a putting green could be added at a later date. Kneller Gardens was the first open space in the borough of Twickenham to be equipped with a children’s playground. At the opening ceremony the Mayor of the borough referred proudly to the opening of “another lung for Twickenham”.


4.2 General Information 4.2.1 Land Tenure The site is owned by the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and is managed by the Parks and Open Spaces Service.

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4.2.2 Location Kneller Gardens is located about a mile and a half from the centre of Twickenham. It lies off the Meadway Road which links the A316 to the Staines Road and off Mereway Road situated in the residential area on the borders of West/South Twickenham.

4.2.3 Access As a free and open facility Kneller Gardens has the potential to provide fully inclusive access to local residents and visitors to the area. Pedestrians and those arriving by train and bus and car can currently access the site.

4.2.4 Local Transport Train: Twickenham Station is situated within 30mins walk from the Gardens.

Trains for this station run into central London (Waterloo Station via Clapham junction) and west with trains running to Reading and Windsor and all stations in between. Whitton Station is within 15mins walk from the park with trains to Waterloo and Windsor. Access to this station is currently via an underpass under the A316. Strawberry Hill station is a similar distance and is served by trains to Waterloo via Teddington / Wimbledon and Richmond / Putney.

Bus: Twickenham is well served by buses, with routes to all areas of the borough, neighbouring boroughs and the centre of town.

The Gardens are served by the following bus routes: 490, H22, 110 from the Staines Road 4.2.5 Landscape & Topography The Gardens are laid out in the manner of a recreation ground with a pavilion building located towards the centre of the park. Tennis courts and a playground are located near to the pavilion as in one football pitch The land is generally flat although it does slope down to the Duke of Northumberland and Crane rivers which diverge forming the southerly and south eastern borders of the Gardens.

The Gardens have a path that runs around its perimeter and also leads up to the pavilion and other facilities. Mature trees grow along this pathway perimeter 4.2.6 Listed Historic Buildings There are no listed historical buildings on the site 4.2.7 Facilities Kneller Gardens contain the following facilities

• A pavilion building in the process of being refurbished: as well as changing rooms the building will have public toilets, a room for the park attendant and a kiosk for the sale of refreshments.

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• Two basketball hoops within the tennis courts area and an additional one in the area of the pavilion.


• A youth shelter

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5.2. Desirable Outcomes of the Local Assessment A local assessment of green space will enable planning to be effective and achieve key outcomes required by PPG 17.

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5.2.1 It is intended that this management plan helps to achieve these outcomes in terms of providing an analysis of existing provision and a plan to effectively maintain and, where appropriate, develop the facilities and infrastructure of the Gardens.

5.2.2 In addition, it produces a series of actions which will help to achieve the

standards laid down for Green Flag Award parks:

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5.3 Methodology The methodology used was prescribed in the Government’s Planning Policy Guideline note 17 (PPG17) for the provision of public open space. This

consisted of a review of the following key areas of provision:

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5.3.1 Main Entrance There are four entrances into Kneller Gardens. Two are situated on the Meadway Road. The main entrance at the south-west corner of the park allows vehicle access to the pavilion. Access is only permitted for contractors’ vehicles and vehicles are restricted by a lockable bar gate. The entrances are welcoming.

Sight lines are clear. They are well maintained with appropriate signage.

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