Improved visitor experience for Surrey parkland

A 158-acre park will shortly be offering visitors enhanced facilities, from the moment they arrive at the site.  The park’s trust has been granted planning consent to convert council-owned land into a new car park. 

Painshill Park, near Cobham, attracts more than 150,000 people each year, who come to enjoy its unique blend of architecture and horticulture.  Low-level lighting, CCTV and permeable surfacing for more effective drainage, will be features of the new amenity.  The existing car park on rented land will be returned to nature.

Flexible parking

The European-inspired 18th century landscaped gardens play host to a range of events, from outdoor cinema and stand-up comedy, to live music and art fairs.  According to Paul Griffiths, Painshill Park’s Director, “The new car park will be more in harmony with the surrounding restored landscape, offering a better and safer experience for motorists and coach passengers.  The improved facilities will provide more flexibility to accommodate both day visitors and people arriving for special events in the evenings.”

Motion Technical Director Phil de JonghAs part of a multidisciplinary approach, Motion supported the application with a range of transport, flood-risk and drainage advice.  The company also provided a car park management strategy and support with a public footpath diversion application.  The team met with local organisations to help allay any initial concerns about the plans.  Technical Director, Phil de Jongh, comments, “The scheme will provide a more appropriate parking facility for Painshill Park and reduce impact on the local highway infrastructure.  It will also enable the Trust to be master of its own destiny, with more control over the new space.” 

Sustainable drainage strategy

Motion undertook a Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) and prepared an outline drainage strategy for the site.  Proposals included a range of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) which will exceed the required water quality and pollution control for the type of land use.

Motion Technical Director Neil JaquesTechnical Director, Neil Jaques, explains, “Infiltration tests established that the land drainage was poor, with the presence of silty material at shallow depths of around one metre.  Shallow infiltration was therefore not feasible.  Deeper soakage tests revealed infiltration was possible at depths of up to three metres.”  Neil continues, “We concluded that to utilise infiltration, the drainage system would need to be up to three metres deep, due to the nature of the site’s geology.” 

The car park’s permeable paving area will be lined, and surface water will drain into an infiltration trench along the western side of the car park.  The permeable car park will enable filtration of the surface water runoff, and the infiltration trench will allow the water to soak back into the ground naturally.  The necessary storage will be provided for rainfall occurring in a 1-in-100-year event, with additional allowances made for climate change.

The Motion team continues to work with the Trust, providing infrastructure support during the detailed design and construction phases of the project.

An abridged version of this article first appeared in the Summer 2021 edition of Insight.

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