Support Petersham Nurseries.
1 August, 2022
Thank you for signing our Petition.
We appreciate your support for Petersham Nurseries Richmond, to help us make our dinner services a more regular and permanent feature. We received more than 6500 signatures, with more than 1300 coming from within the Borough of Richmond upon Thames. 1385 people took the time to comment.
“In a time when hospitality businesses are being hit by increased wage bills, increased cost of food, astronomical energy costs, likely increase in business rates and a likely downturn in demand due to the effect of inflation and higher interest rates on peoples discretionary income - not allowing Petersham Nursery the ability to try and offset these is simply adding to pressures that could lead to the business not being viable. Does Richmond Council really have an objective to put businesses up against the wall financially when what Petersham Nurseries is asking has no cost for the Council and at worse will increase the sales (and hence tax base) of the restaurant?”
Sign our Petition
Sign our petition to enable us to operate like all other restaurants.
Help us make our dinner services a more regular and permanent feature
Our Supper Clubs at Petersham Nurseries provide an enchanting and intimate occasion to dine by candlelight in the magical setting of our greenhouses. Held throughout the year for well over a decade, our Supper Clubs have always been in great demand and referred to as an ethereal and unique experience.
Sadly, after many years of working with Officers of Richmond Council, we have been unable to regularise these popular services due to protracted, frustrating and expensive planning processes. We have now applied for a new premises licence to replace our existing 5pm premises licence. This will create certainty for our business, security for our employees and continued trade for our suppliers.
Please help us to safeguard our dinner services and indeed to host them in the same permanent way as other restaurants.
Let Gareth Roberts, Leader of the Council, know that you support us by signing our Petition
- I support Petersham Nurseries to have a more regular and permanent dinner service.
- I support Petersham Nurseries in maintaining and growing their business, ensuring their staff have job security and continue to support local suppliers.
- Petersham Nurseries is a community-focused and responsible business and I support its work within the local community and for the environment.
- The management team and all staff at Petersham Nurseries are professional operators who can be trusted to provide a dinner service responsibly under a permanent premises licence, without any adverse impact on crime, disorder, public nuisance, or safety.
Watch video of our dinner service at Petersham Nurseries
To illustrate the stringent measures we have in place to manage the quiet arrival and departure of guests, plus parking controls in place for the handful of vehicles, we created a film during one of our evening services. You will also see the general serene nature of these evenings.
“The success of Petersham Nurseries should be supported and promoted by the local community and especially the local authority. This is a world class establishment, encouraging visitors to our town and community from near and far. I fully support their wish to extend their licensed hours, with a view to having more regular, set, dependable evening dinner events - thus protecting the business from the external pressures everyone is facing. Lets be a community and council that rewards excellence. I lived in Petersham prior to moving to Richmond, it gave me great pride when people recognised the place I chose to live due to the reputation of the Nurseries. I cannot be alone.
This is a focused well run busiiness, it is not about to open the doors and dilute its product other than it can sustain, it also proves itself continually to respect and work with those households and residents immediately nearby [I has also led to the rather surprising success of the Fox and Duck as an 'overspill' at weekends.] In time, I hope my children to be able to apply to work with this incredible family (owners and the staff) - lets do what we can as a neighbourhood to ensure this business is there to recruit and provide opportunities in the future.”
Evening Management Plan
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 that have been implemented, that you may have noticed when dining with us.
- Supper Clubs are attended only by guests with an advance reservation.
- 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 which were carried out over multiple years, 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.
These surveys were conducted in response to requirements from Richmond Council and have been acknowledged. However, despite the great expenses that Petersham Nurseries incurred to carry these out, there has never been any outcome whatsoever.