Sir David Attenborough gets go-ahead for beer garden wildlife haven

Your Local Guardian: Haven plan: Sir David Attenborough Haven plan: Sir David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough's plan to turn a former beer garden into a haven for animals and plants was given the go-ahead last night.

The plan will transform the outdoor space of the derelict Hole in the Wall pub in Park Road, Richmond, into an urban garden.

The 83-year-old wildlife enthusiast bought the empty pub last year.

In December, he submitted plans to extend his home into the pub and create a wildlife-friendly outdoor space, complete with an orchard, glasshouse and "bog garden" for marsh plants.

Although there were four objections to the proposal, most residents seemed in favour of the project, writing to the council with letters of support.

Sir David's next door neighbour, David McGrath, said: "We are happy that, since Richmond is losing the green land behind the opposite side of Park Road, this proposed development goes a small way to redressing the balance."

And Jill Grist, of Kings Road, added: "I myself would be very happy to live opposite the arrangement planned."

The council said it granted planning permission after consideration of how the scheme would fit in with the requirements of the area's conservation area status.

A council spokesman confirmed officers "did not feel the proposed changes would affect the conservation area".

• What do you think? Let us know by email (gholt@london.newsquest.co.uk), phone the newsdesk on 020 8744 4271 or leave a comment below.

Comments (2)

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7:18pm Sat 6 Mar 10

Phillip Taylor says...

This is both an excellent, and an ecologically sensible use of the space concerned and Sir David is to be congratulated on his foresight. Thank you.

Phillip Taylor
This is both an excellent, and an ecologically sensible use of the space concerned and Sir David is to be congratulated on his foresight. Thank you. Phillip Taylor Phillip Taylor

12:54pm Wed 10 Mar 10

Julie Hill says...

As someone who has tried to improve their local environment by helped to create a community planted area with trees and wildlife garden (which has to date won 9 awards), I am delighted that Sir David has received planning permission to create a wildlife garden on the former pub site that he bought.

However, I am amazed at the double standards of Richmond Council, who think nothing of sweeping away community gardens, cherished trees, the Contact Centre garden and other pockets of land, in order to grant permission for highly controversial planning applications and against the wishes of the public.

If the former pub site application had been submitted by Joe Public I am sure they would have rejected it and insisted that the land was used for housing.

The Council has no interest in ordinary residents but given that they need all the support they can from Sir David for their deeply unpopular scheme for Twickenham Riverside, it really is hardly surprising.
As someone who has tried to improve their local environment by helped to create a community planted area with trees and wildlife garden (which has to date won 9 awards), I am delighted that Sir David has received planning permission to create a wildlife garden on the former pub site that he bought. However, I am amazed at the double standards of Richmond Council, who think nothing of sweeping away community gardens, cherished trees, the Contact Centre garden and other pockets of land, in order to grant permission for highly controversial planning applications and against the wishes of the public. If the former pub site application had been submitted by Joe Public I am sure they would have rejected it and insisted that the land was used for housing. The Council has no interest in ordinary residents but given that they need all the support they can from Sir David for their deeply unpopular scheme for Twickenham Riverside, it really is hardly surprising. Julie Hill

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