PROTECT PAINSHILL FROM THE A3 DEVELOPMENT
Highways England are proposing a number of changes to the M25 & A3 roads which will have a major negative impact on Painshill (Grade 1 listed landscape garden). Highways England’s proposed preferred development will ‘grab land’ from Painshill, meaning areas of the landscape will be lost forever under the development of the ever increasing road network.
Why we need your help
Painshill is one of the most important and significant landscape gardens in the country. With your support, we aim to safeguard parts of our much loved landscape garden and protect it from this road development. Highways England’s preferred development will take large parts of land that runs past the Gothic Tower (built 1750’s) and destroy a high number of trees from the ancient woodlands.
A3 ‘Land Grab’ Development – Chairman Update (16/5/18)
Dear Supporter of Painshill,
First of all I would like to thank the thousands of you who have responded so magnificently to our petition. It is beginning to have some effect and already has attracted over 5,000 signatures. We have also been very encouraged by the number of public bodies who have come to the support of Painshill
As you know, we have to persuade Highways England to change their plan to widen the A3 to the north of Painshill. This would invade the Historic Landscape at a point very close to the Gothic Tower and the Temple of Bacchus and increase the noise pollution in the landscape. It would seriously effect the enjoyment of over 100,000 visitors to Painshill each year, a number that is growing fast.
We have recently met representatives of Highways England and their design consultants, WS Atkins. They have promised to re-examine their plans now that they realise how important Painshill is and how their plans would damage its special beauty and atmosphere. We have agreed to meet with them shortly to work with them to preserve the magic of Painshill.
If we are going to succeed in saving Painshill we will still need your continued support. You can help us in three ways:
- If you have not yet signed our petition, please do so now. You can visit our website at painshill.co.uk/A3, or sign the petition when you visit.
- Visit Painshill, it is looking lovely now, and see how the Gothic Tower and the special magic of the Elysian Plains and the Temple of Bacchus would be damaged.
- Tell your friends, your MP or anyone else who you think could help to support the effort to save Painshill.
Thank you for all your support so far. We will need to keep up the pressure until the plans have changed and we know that Painshill is safe.
Painshill Park Trust Chairman
If Highways England go ahead with their preferred proposal, the environmental impact to Painshill will be substantial and can be described briefly as follows:
Loss of land at Grade 1 Historic Landscape
Painshill is a Grade 1 listed 18th century landscape garden. It is the vison of one man, the Hon. Charles Hamilton, and is of exceptional historic interest. It is also a contender for World Heritage Site status. If the additional roadway is built, not only will the land taken be irreversibly damaged and changed, but it will also impinge upon the historic landscape.
An increase in vehicle volume, moving at higher speeds will create more noise and air pollution, which will negatively impact on the tranquillity of the landscape and all who visit. Their preferred scheme will see the removable of a number of trees from the ancient woodland that act as a natural sound barrier to the rest of the Landscape. Painshill is an outdoor space where thousands of people seek to enjoy the landscape in a peaceful, tranquil and healthy way.
Damage to views
There will be an increase in the number of locations where the proposed road layout will be visible, as well as seeing an increase in HGV and motor traffic passing at higher speeds. This will affect the historically important vistas and views at Painshill.
Damage to Historic Buildings
The proposed road widening will bring the A3 even closer to the Gothic Tower at the far end of the park. This building, which was restored at a substantial cost some years ago, is potentially threatened both by the proposed road widening and from traffic vibration from the A3.
This year will see the completion of the rebuilding of the Temple of Bacchus, a masterstroke of Charles Hamilton’s with its commanding views across the Surrey countryside. The proposed scheme will bring road traffic within audible distance of this building.
Loss of ancient woodland & trees
The trees at Painshill are of historical and horticultural significance. The proposed change to the A3 will see the loss of many irreplaceable historic Painshill trees, including those in ancient woodland.
Destroying the habitat of local wildlife
The development would remove large parts of woodland, leading to the destruction of natural habitat of birds and woodland animals.
Loss of Revenue
Painshill Park Trust is a charitable trust which depends upon public support either through individual entry admissions or donations from individuals and Trusts. In addition, revenue is raised from the Park being used for filming. If the proposed scheme goes ahead the Trust stands to see a substantial decline in its income from all these sources which will inevitably affect the future conservation and restoration of the historic Park.
While we fully recognise the need to improve the A3 and M25, Highways England has a number of other, and in our opinion, better options that would not impinge upon the historic landscape, while still meeting the needs of the road users. If Highways England goes ahead with their chosen route, we believe they have not correctly engaged or consulted with Painshill, or carried out the necessary background evaluation work to make a balanced and informed decision.
Painshill Park Trust is calling on Highways England to reject its current ”Preferred Route” and return to the project design phase so that the safeguarding of the historic Park can be included in the design criteria.
Please sign and support our petition if you believe Painshill should be protected from the development of the A3 so it can continue to be enjoyed by future generations.