Summary & scheme benefits
We believe the proposals we have set out today will bring Bramshill House and its associated heritage assets back into viable beneficial use through an extensive programme of building repairs, as well as provide the greatest heritage benefit by removing and repurposing some of the modern police buildings straddling Reading Avenue.
It is important to recognise that the site’s existing use as a Police College does not support long-term sustainable heritage value. If future expansion of the current use were to occur, it would be unlikely to address current constraints and problems of the site, namely the need for restoration, maintenance and ongoing management of the heritage assets.
Therefore, these proposals represent a comprehensive and long-term viable solution that can deliver a number of heritage, landscape and ecological enhancements and which allows for viable and proactive long-term maintenance of the site.
Below the benefits for the latest proposals have been detailed:
1. A legally binding commitment that allows for the repair, restoration and reuse of Bramshill House (Bramshill House – Grade I listed)
2. Repairs of important Jacobean Garden walls and gateways to the north east of Bramshill House facilitating the walls removal from the At Risk register (Grade I listed)
3. Repairs to other heritage assets, including High Bridge (Grade I), Gateway (Grade I), walls and turrets south west of Bramhall House (Grade I), walls & gate piers to west of Bramshill House (Grade II), Stable Block (Grade II), Hazley Lodge (Grade II), Conduit building (Curtilage listed), and Ice House (Curtilage Listed).
4. Removal of modern and unsightly police buildings to allow for the reinstatement of a key structural Jacobean landscape feature that reconnects the critical elements of that early crucifix design in their original alignment (Reading Avenue is part of Grade I listed Park and Garden)
5. Enhancements to the registered park and garden, including reintroduction of Sweet Chestnut Grove, Lime Avenue, Sweet Chestnut Avenue, clearance of scrub and thinning of trees to the lake island and to edge of lake, clearance of scrub and archaeological works to the maze, recreation of field boundaries to Green Ride and Maze Hill Close, clearance of pines and recreation of tree lines to the north of the lake, and reestablishment of views towards Bramshill House from Green Ride.
6. Providing a range of alternative future uses for Bramshill House which will protect it from market downturns and changing fortunes and in so doing de-risks its long-term future (Single Residential, Wedding, Filming & Events & Office).
7. The creation of a legally binding long-term Landscape and Ecological Management Plan management that will enhance and thereafter maintain the landscape and ecology of the site in a manner that is beneficial for the understanding and appreciation of the heritage assets and encourages improvements to the ecology and the protected species that inhabit the area (none exists at the moment).
8. The creation of a legally binding arrangement that ensures that there is a positive and proactive management programme in place for the restored and in use and built heritage assets (none exists at the moment) to allow the removal of Bramshill Park from the At Risk Register.
9. Repair and reinstatement of historic routes around the estate that reveal heritage significance and enhance not only the understanding and appreciation of these heritage assets but also improves the well-being and health of the residents of the development via the creation of myriad of safe and secure walking routes in excess of 10 km including those within the SANG.
10. The creation of a development with multiple owners and a residential use that is accustomed to paying estate service charges, where the value of their property is only maintained by keeping their surrounding environment to a high-quality standard. In so doing, by virtue of a proven legal agreement, it secures greater long-term funding for the maintenance of grade I heritage assets, Bramshill House and its Parkland. Bramshill House no longer has to carry the burden of paying for the entire Parkland and any shared facilities because the communal areas are maintained, in accordance with the Landscape & Ecological Management Plan, by multiple users with legal and practical arrangements in place that means the funding is readily available. Historic uses at Bramshill Park have not been able to fund the beneficial maintenance of the heritage assets even with significant harmful development and has instead resulted in a significant conservation deficit and heritage assets on the At Risk register).
11. Greater public access to both Bramshill House and gardens including opening on heritage open days and so increasing public appreciation and understanding (no public access at the moment)
12. Removal of substantial amount of unsightly modern development and the relocation of development to less sensitive brownfield areas of the site built to a significant higher architectural standard using better quality materials.
13. Ecology enhancements across the site including the creation of a nature reserve and SANG.
14. The New development will be sustainable and reduce carbon emissions by 31% from current Building Regulations.
15. The approval of this proposed development not only enhances a number of public interests but it gives the local planning authority far greater control over the management and maintenance of these important and valuable public interests within a far easier legal framework to administer.