Rectory Farm, London, Great Britain

Public Park

Client: Formal Investments
Partner: Carmody Groarke - DP9 - ARUP
Period: 2011 – 2020
Surface area: 440 000m2

Rectory Farm is a 44 ha former agricultural site that is located within London’s Green Belt within the Borough of Hounslow and in close proximity to Heathrow Airport. The site is located over gravel terraces to the north of the Thames and is adjacent to the Crane River Valley, a rich ecological corridor located to the west of the site that connects to the River Thames.

The site has been identified as a strategic gravel resource and sustainable supply to the London area. Several planning applications have been submitted for the extraction of the 3.4M tonnes of fluvial gravel that exist below the site, but all have been rejected due to the impact of increased traffic movements and an open-cut mining approach.

This proposal seeks to resolve the issues raised in previous planning applications by using a top-down construction method which will mitigate the issues associated with open-cut mines. This method also allows for the creation of a park above the slab which will minimise impact on the Green Belt and functional  space below which can facilitate future uses.

The redevelopment of the Rectory Farm site will realise a major new public open space within west London and a destination within west Hounslow. The park provides an opportunity to improve connectivity between the residential areas of Heston and Cranford, the biodiversity of a significant area of green belt landscape and provide public amenity space.

The Master Plan offers a vision and guiding framework for how the Park may be developed over time in parallel with the gravel extraction process. The Park has been designed to be implemented in phases, acknowledging a possible 30 year timeframe for the extraction of the gravels.