Carter Jonas appointed to gain planning consent for £100m Berkshire-based herbarium building on behalf of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Carter Jonas appointed to gain planning consent for Berkshire-based herbarium building on behalf of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

National property consultancy Carter Jonas has been instructed by Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to act as planning consultants in the preparation of a planning application for a new herbarium building at the Thames Valley Science Park at Shinfield just south of Reading.

The new facility is intended to maintain and protect Kew’s preserved plant collection of over 7m dried plant specimens for future generations. It will provide space for future growth of these collections, as well as a more efficient and sustainable building which will deliver value for money. As a world-class herbarium, the facility will ensure the usability of the collections for biodiversity research and provide the flexibility to respond to future needs. The move to the TVSP site will additionally enable the redevelopment of the Kew Gardens site for improved and expanded research, education, and public engagement facilities, enhancing the global impact of RBG Kew’s work.

The estimated net construction cost is £100m.

The project will be completed in line with RBG Kew’s sustainability strategy, Climate Positive by 2030: urgently tackling the climate and biodiversity crisis which is based on a commitment to achieve or better the RIBA 2030 Challenge, LETI Operational Energy and Embodied Carbon Targets, BREEAM Outstanding, and the wider RIBA Sustainable Outcomes.

Nicky Brock, Partner, Planning and Development, Carter Jonas Oxford, commented, “We are extremely pleased to have been appointed by Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to prepare this planning application. The new herbarium project will enable RBG Kew to continue its unparalleled work in botanical research and, importantly, increase accessibility to this wealth of knowledge. With the benefit of a comprehensive sustainability strategy, the new facility addresses significant global issues and we look forward to a positive resolution.”

Mark Rushworth, Project Director at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew commented, “We are delighted to appoint Carter Jonas to join our project team to deliver our new Herbarium at Thames Valley Science Park in Reading, which is promoted by the University of Reading. The project is critical to support our mission to understand and protect plants and fungi for the well-being of people and the future of all life on earth.  We are very much looking forward to joining the British Museum and the National History Museum who are also located at the site.”

It is anticipated that the planning application will be submitted in December 2024. In the meantime, Carter Jonas is working with the project team in the preparation of the application, liaising with the council officers and local stakeholders, and public and stakeholder consultation later in the year. It is hoped that planning consent will be granted in May 2025.

Carter Jonas’ Planning team will work closely with Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (architects) and Gardiner and Theobald (project, cost and construction management).

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