The Public Inquiry closed on Friday, 6th July.
The Closing Statements given on Thursday afternoon and on Friday distilled the 4 weeks of evidence, cross-examination and re-examination of the Inquiry and summed up the positions of the Rule 6 parties – Historic England, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the Kew Society, of the Council and that of the Appellant, Starbones. To our Chairman’s surprise on Friday, she was asked if she wished to make any closing remarks.
The Inspector will provide a report with a recommendation to the Secretary of State who will then make a decision. We do not, as yet, have an idea of when that decision will be made but it may not be until late 2018 or early 2019.
The combined weight of the cases made by those opposing the development provided strong grounds on which to refuse the Appeal. The Appellant’s case rested mainly on the assertion that, even when highly visible as an intrusion into views of and from the many heritage assets and residential areas surrounding the site, this would be a positive impact due to the outstanding quality of the architecture. This new “Palm House” would invoke the qualities of the Grade I Listed structure in Kew Gardens and would be greeted with as much pleasure as the Eiffel Tower seen from the streets of the centre of Paris.
Our chairman spoke today (Thursday 21st June) on behalf of our society and of the following local groups:
Grove Park Group Residents Association
Chiswick High Road Action Group
Friends of Stile Hall Gardens
Other 3rd parties also spoke and you can find reports and updates on the Chiswick Calendar and W4 websites.