Have your say on the future of Dartford's 'hidden' mansion
PUBLISHED: 13:26 09 January 2017 | UPDATED: 13:26 09 January 2017
Proposals will be on show at Dartford Museum
Plans to remove Edwardian buildings from the Acacia Hall site in Dartford are in need of public response.
Dartford’s Acacia Hall has been described as ‘hidden’ by the borough’s council leader Jeremy Kite.
But under new proposals, the Grade II listed building could become a more prominent part in the town centre and it’s nearby park.
“We think the Acacia grounds deserve to be better integrated with the park,” explained Cllr Kite.
“The Mansion House should sit proudly at one side of a new civic square and car parks on the site should be better designed to reflect both their historic setting and the needs of visitors.”
Plans for the future of the site are set to go on display at Dartford Museum.
In 2011, the council bought the former GlaxoSmithKline staff sports and social club, to safeguard it after the pharmacy giant closed its production plant in the town.
The move saw acres of sports field integrated into Dartford’s Central Park, with similar plans expected for Acacia Hall.
Cllr Kite added: “Integrating the Acacia estate with Central Park and the town centre is pretty much the final part of a ten-year plan to restore some old-fashioned Edwardian elegance to our historic park, gardens and open space.
“People seem to love the way we have put heritage at the heart of our restoration of Central Park but it’s always been sad to know that there’s a historic mansion house and grounds right next door that is hidden away and crowded by modern buildings.
“Our plans mean that some of the hotchpotch of late twentieth century buildings on the site will have to go but I think there’s a growing appreciation in society that beautiful and truly historic buildings deserve to be in the right setting. Where we are proposing to take away one modern use, such as the old social club building, we are planning to replace new facilities in a far more appropriate setting elsewhere in the grounds.”
“A number of the best ideas for Central Park came directly from park visitors and we’d now like to hear from local people about the proposals for Acacia. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to create some very special public space in a truly historic setting.”
Proposals will be on display at Dartford Museum on January 17. 18 and 26 between 10am and 4pm.