AS A former chairman and secretary of Eastcote Park Estate Association, I well appreciate the amenity provided to the community of the borough as well as to the residents of Eastcote - and also to the scores of other people who regularly or infrequently use the park for leisure purposes (Plea for public to save historic house, Gazette, March 10).
The council is to be applauded for their excellent job of maintaining the open areas and gardens to a high standard of beauty.
It's encouraging to see that a group has formed to help raise awareness of the importance and value to the borough of this wonderful parkland.
However, I am somewhat surprised that there isn't greater appreciation and awareness of how the coach house has provided a home for Eastcote Billiards Club for about 80 years.
Although not a member, I know that the club represents many local residents of all ages and genders who utilise the facility provided by the coach house almost every day. It's hard to imagine a more suitable use for the building nor one that would provide such regular occupancy, both night and day; nor one that would give as much effort to the upkeep of the house.
I hope that English Heritage will be prepared to support the billiards club and the council in ensuring that the building can be sustained in terms of its structure.
It would indeed be a tragedy if its 500-year life were not maintained for future generations to enjoy externally and for it to provide a suitable home for a worthy local community group.
On the general point of use of the buildings, Eastcote House grounds do not have the suitability for large gatherings of people coming from far and wide by car. There is limited car parking and limited access off Eastcote High Road, on a potentially dangerous bend unsuitable for high volumes or peaks of traffic.
If any commercial use of the buildings were to evolve, then, inevitably, roads on Eastcote Park (especially the lower end of St Lawrence Drive) would become choked by cars parking to gain access to the park and buildings.
Maintaining the grounds as a peaceful place to exercise, walk dogs, to enjoy the flora and fauna, to admire the historic buildings that are part of our heritage, has to be a priority for the good of the entire community.
Improved security on the park and increased lighting around the buildings to reduce the risk of vandalism and even arson (the coach house has been subject to arson on more than one occasion) is a great use of English Heritage funds.
It's impossible to secure the area after dusk, so night CCTV cameras and regular police patrols are highly desirable to help make it less inviting for the kinds of people who carry out such attacks to congregate in the park at night.
Keeping the responsible residents who make up the billiards club membership in the coach house will ensure that, at night, people who truly care about the park and its amenity will be present as watchful and responsible guardians of this wonderful area.
The borough has a gem of tranquillity and beauty in the gardens and historic buildings - let's hope that they remain as such for countless future generations to enjoy with the support of English Heritage, the council and the community.
Eastcote Via email