Gunnersbury Friends Turn To English Heritage

Asking for urgent repair notices to be served on six of Park's historic buildings

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At their Annual General Meeting the Friends of Gunnersbury Park & Museum resolved to ask English Heritage to serve as soon as possible a full Repairs Notice on the East Stable Block and an Urgent Works notice for the repair of five more buildings at Gunnersbury.

This would ensure repairs were carried out, if necessary under English Heritage’s auspices, and LB Ealing and Hounslow, the local authorities which own the buildings, would then be charged for the costs involved.

English Heritage has used the East Stable Block (listed Grade II*) in recent years as a photographic backdrop for the launch of its Heritage at Risk Register. This building, along with a number of other buildings at Gunnersbury, is recorded as Priority A in the Register.

The others are the West Stable block, the Archway near the East Lodge, the East Lodge itself, the Gothic Boat-house and the Gothic Ruins. These buildings, along with the listed historic landscape, are one of the most neglected groups in the entire country.

The Friends have also drawn to the attention of English Heritage’s Chief Executive, Dr Simon Thurley, the condition of the two Mansions in the Park which are rapidly decaying.

The Friends say they are calling for this action because "it is clear - both from long-term evidence and from actions in recent weeks - that the joint management of this estate between Ealing and Hounslow has completely failed."

"The Councils are unable to act together to meet the challenges which Gunnersbury faces, nor even to discharge their statutory obligations to protect the heritage. It is therefore time for English Heritage to act."

December 14, 2009