HC Deb 22 February 1904 vol 130 cc535-6
MR. COGHILL (Stoke-upon-Trent)

To ask the hon. Member for Chorley, as representing the First Commissioner of Works, if he will state by whose authority a new inclosure has been formed in the centre of Hyde Park, on the north side of the Serpentine; to what purposes will it be devoted; what is the extent of the piece of ground taken from the use of the public; and whether the inclosure is to be of a temporary or of a permanent character.

(Answered by Lord Balcarres.) The new inclosure in Hyde Park, to which my hon. friend refers, is being formed by the Office of Works, and will contain plant-houses and forcing-frames for the plants required for the service of the Royal parks, in place of those now in use, which stand in Kensington Gardens and spoil the architectural effect of the Palace and of Wren's Orangery. Some of; the existing houses are in bad condition, and it is essential that they should be renewed. There has always been a service-yard in Hyde Park, and the same spot was considered to be a far more suitable and central position for plant-houses for the parks. It is therefore determined to remove the plant and frame ground altogether to Hyde Park by an enlargement of the existing service-yard. The work is specially provided for in the Vote for Royal Parks, the first instalment of the cost having been passed in May last. The area now occupied by the houses and frames in Kensington Gardens will, when vacated, be laid out as an ornamental garden. Substantially the public will gain three acres of lawn and flower-beds in exchange for about an equal area of grass-land taken into the new frame-ground. When the works are all finished and the plantations grown there will be also a gain in picturesque effect, both in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.