Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Residents Protest over Gloriana Visitor Centre at 'Tranquil Spot'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Residents Protest over Gloriana Visitor Centre at 'Tranquil Spot'

Article excerpt

Byline: David Churchill

RESIDENTS are protesting against plans to build a visitor centre in Richmond for the boat that was the centrepiece of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

A proposal to put the Gloriana rowbarge in a Norman Foster-designed dry dock and boathouse in woodland at Orleans Park has been met with fury.

Richmond council wants to exhibit the boat in tribute to the Queen and Richmond's river connections. Plans include building a visitors' centre and a cafe.

The project will reportedly be paid for with a heritage lottery fund application, private money and up to PS1 million of public cash.

But local group the Friends of Orleans Riverside said it would ruin a tranquil spot, bringing unmanageable numbers of tourists and requiring the playground to be moved.

Actor Paul Bigley, 52, a spokesman for the group, said: "They are talking about cutting a canal into the wooded area to house the barge which is 95 feet, so we're talking about a large structure with a visitors' centre and new cafe to go with it. …

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