RHS Garden Hyde Hall in Essex has won a five-year planning battle. The garden’s viability was in doubt while locals opposed a new car park and access road but Chelmsford Borough Council finally passed a compromise solution last week.
New curator Troy Scott Smith can now implement a £1 million five-year plan that will start in April.
Hyde Hall hopes to boost visitor numbers from 130,000 a year to 250,000. Scott Smith said he had to turn away coaches because of a lack of parking last year.
“People who were against the plan have come round. It’s the jewel of Essex and not just for the RHS. We need it to work for the community. Now we can move the car park from the middle of the garden, where it looks awful.”
He now has space to expand the dry garden and develop new areas.
Hyde Hall front-of-house co-ordinator Janet Uttley said opposition was to the road and not to the expansion of the garden. She added that delays may have been because the RHS is “in the business of gardens not roads”.
L The RHS says highlights of the Chelsea flower show on 24-28 May will include an Alan Titchmarsh rose from David Austin Roses, Helenium ‘Chelsey’ from Darwin Plants, a memorial variety for Terry Lloyd, the ITV reporter killed in Iraq, and a “living fossil” Wollemia nobilis from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
See our interview with Troy Scott Smith in next week’s HW.
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