Support our Application to Host Weekly Supper Clubs

On 31 January 2014 we submitted a planning application to Richmond Council to offer supper clubs to our customers on a weekly basis, instead of over a number of ad hoc occasions. Unfortunately, four years later, we remain no closer to being able to open for dinner.

On a handful of evenings throughout the year we host candlelit supper clubs in our glasshouse restaurant, normally only open for lunch. These beautiful supper clubs are a truly unique and intimate experience. Diners absorb the magical atmosphere of the nurseries and enjoy a bespoke set menu inspired by the finest ingredients of the season and what is growing in our kitchen garden.

In an effort to maintain a good relationship with our neighbours, we have compromised, limiting our request to only three evenings (Thursday, Friday and Saturday), instead of the whole week.

Our supper clubs are always in great demand, with evenings selling out within days. We appeal to any customers who have ever dined with us at one of these magical evenings and to those who have not yet had the opportunity to write and support our application.

How you can help

Sign and share our petition here.

Write a letter of support detailing your experience of our supper club here, searching reference number 14/0345/VRC ‘Make a Comment’.

 

More information:

The main objection to our evening opening is the perceived noise and disturbance of having the restaurant open at night. As suggested and agreed by Richmond Council, a thorough Evening Management Plan was put in place to ensure that there is no disturbance to our neighbours. Below are but a few of the measures, full details can be viewed on the Council’s planning portal.

 

Evening Management Plan

  • Supper Clubs are attended only by guests with an advance reservati
  • Travel arrangements are suggested and agreed with guests in advance.
  • Customers are discouraged from driving and advised of taxi drop off/ pick up location so to steer clear of neighbouring roads and limit access to Petersham Nurseries directly via Church Lane.
  • Return journeys are organised with local taxi companies all of whom operate hybrid vehicles which have a much lower noise footprint than conventional diesel engine taxis.
  • Guests are collected from their table once the taxi has arrived for a swift departure.
  • All vehicles arriving are advised by our parking attendants to switch of vehicle lights, engines and the team assist opening and closing doors to minimise noise.
  • Employee incentives are used to encourage staff to travel to work via means other than car, including a bike to work scheme, annual travel passes and company subsidised hybrid taxis for evening shifts.
  • Guests are asked to depart respectfully for the residential area no later than 11pm. This message is reiterated on menus, reservation confirmations and online.
  • As an additional mitigation measure the pedestrian entrance to the restaurant for Supper Club events was  relocated to a newly built gate some 20 metres east along Church Lane. This takes the pedestrian activity further from the nearest neighbouring property than was previously the case. It also moved car parking further east to some 70 metres away from the property, compared to the previous 40-metre distance.
  • Upon walking through pedestrian gate, within 13m, guests are taken inside the shop towards the restaurant, in turn containing the noise of guests arriving to inside the glasshouse.
  • No parking or vehicles allowed beyond (i.e. west of) the proposed new pedestrian access gate at any point during the evening.

Further to the above, our Supper Clubs have undergone rigorous independent car parking / traffic and noise surveys. The noise surveys confirmed there is no adverse impact to gardens or living rooms in the nearest dwellings during the operation of the restaurant in the evening. It has also been proven that there are no adverse effects in terms of sleep disturbance to bedrooms of the nearest dwellings beyond 11pm.

The results of the multiple evening transport surveys conducted clearly demonstrate that the restaurant use generates relatively little car travel in the evening. The figures show that 27% of the total attendance come by car but that amounts to 21 people in 7 cars (equivalent to an average of three people per car). All of which can be accommodated on Church Lane and not impede in any way on neighbouring roads.

All of these results have been accepted and approved by Richmond Council.