£10m revamp for Greenwich Park is approved

By Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporter

People visiting Greenwich Park will still be able to sledge during winter and the legendary bullet holes in General Wolfe’s statue will remain, but much else is set to change under a major plan to breathe new life into the historic space.

Greenwich’s planning board unanimously approved a programme of work worth more than £10 million for the park at its Tuesday meeting.

At the “heart” of the proposal will be a new learning centre built in the south-east of the park, while the viewing platform around the General Wolfe statue will be enlarged after the surrounding land was left “slumped and eroded” from the high level of visitor footfall.

A major landscaping project will also be undertaken to restore the historic 17th century Parterre Banks – the six large steps heading to the Queens House from the Wolfe statue.

Councillors were told the project would see a total of 225 trees cut down in phases – primarily ones impacted due to disease and squirrel damage, but also some in the way of the improvements.

However, they would eventually be replaced by 400 new trees.

Councillors were told that the park – which is classed as metropolitan open land – has the same protections as a green belt area, meaning the building of a new learning centre and accompanying structures would be classed “inappropriate”.

However, in this instance, members were told the benefits would outweigh any potential negative impacts on the park with a “dramatic increase in open space” if development in the south-east corner went ahead.

Councillors Nigel Fletcher and Geoffrey Brighty both supported the plans, but said it would have been useful to have CGI images of what the improved viewing platform around the General Wolfe statue would look like.

However, both were assured the work would done “sympathetically”, while the historic bullet holes in the statue – allegedly shot into it during a Second World War gun run by a German Messerschmitt – would be left untouched.

Even with the new steps cut in, revellers would still be able to carry on with their historic pastime of winter-time sledging – with a representative of Royal Parks promising an “enhanced sledging experience”.

The project will largely be bankrolled using a £4.5m grant  from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund, with The Royal Parks and other funding partners also contributing for a total investment of £10.5 million.

Pictured top: Greenwich Park


Please support your local paper by making a donation

 

 

Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ


Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.

So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.

Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *