An historic house in Twickenham has unveiled plans to “transform” its gardens into a “vibrant public park” but the proposal to fell 347 trees in the process has sparked a petition which has reached nearly 3,000 signatures.

English Heritage acquired Twickenham’s Marble Hill House and the surrounding land in 1986, and has submitted a planning application to “transform it into a vibrant public park”.

The Marble Hill Revived Project includes plans to fell the trees to make way for formal gardens, as well as an extension to the existing café, restoration of the stables, upgrade of sport pitches, seat replacements, partial demolition of boundary walls and general repairs.

The planning application has had 131 online objections and six comments of support.

Commenters have objected to the “formal” nature of the plans for the park, the felling of the trees, the café extension which would have 140 seats, and the traffic from the increase in visitors.

Many residents living in Montpelier Row, which is beside the current café, have complained their privacy would be affected by the extension and raised concerns about the noise pollution that would result from the works.

Concerns the felling of the trees would endanger wildlife in the area were also raised.

The main message of support for the project was ensuring the “long-term viability” of Marble Hill House- people argue the increase in income generated by the extra visitors per year would help this happen.

The people behind the petition, who are calling on Richmond Council to reject the application, say they have no problem with English Heritage upgrading the café and restoring the house itself.

Campaigner and Twickenham Riverside resident Janine Fotiadis-Negreponte said: “Marble Hill is a much-loved public park and the only semi-rural pocket of green space left in the area on this side of the river.

“As custodians of our park we believe English Heritage should protect its peace and tranquility.

“We are struggling to understand why English Heritage wants to build a modern 140 seat café in our public park.

“The impact of this will undoubtedly have a catastrophic impact on the historic houses of Montpelier Row and seems at odds with its ethos of preserving historic assets.

“The saddest aspect of the Marble Hill Revived Project is its plan to fell the woodland quadrants, the beautiful wooded areas surrounding Marble Hill House.”

English Heritage’s London area manager Abi Marsh said the phrasing of the petition was “incredibly misleading and completely misrepresents” the project.

She said: “Marble Hill desperately needs investment if it is to survive for future generations to enjoy. Doing nothing is not an option.

“With this £6m project, the magnificent house will be open more often and people will be able to explore more of the park than ever before.

“We are planting 400 new trees in the park, improving the sports pitches, and providing a changing room for women.

“We would invite anyone who wants an accurate picture of this project to get in touch and we would be delighted to show them our plans.”

The planning application is due to be decided on in November.

To view the planning application go here.

To view the petition go here.