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Hackney residents encouraged to have their say on plans for a child-friendly borough

PUBLISHED: 11:02 30 October 2020 | UPDATED: 11:02 30 October 2020

Young people from Berger Primary School and Cardinal Pole Secondary School constructing a community space in Homerton in  2019. Picture: Lily Dowse

Young people from Berger Primary School and Cardinal Pole Secondary School constructing a community space in Homerton in 2019. Picture: Lily Dowse

Lily Dowse

Developers and architects could be made to put the interests and needs of children at the core of their plans, under new design guidelines being consulted on by Hackney Council.

Developers and architects could be made to put the interests and needs of children at the core of their plans, under new design guidelines being consulted on by Hackney Council.

A consultation was launched on October 27 asking residents to have their say on a draft of the Child-Friendly Places Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).

The document sets out new rules to ensure planners and designers of Hackney spaces consider people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds by establishing child-friendly principles and design guidelines for proposed developments.

Cllr Caroline Woodley, Cabinet Member for Families, Early Years and Play, said: “We know that young people love growing up in our borough, but they’ve also told us they don’t always find it a place where they can freely play, socialise or feel safe.

“We’re determined to change that.”

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The aims of guidelines are to accommodate and support young people by providing more opportunities for children to get physically active, connect with nature and play in safe, healthy and unpolluted public spaces.

The draft planning document draws inspiration from initiatives such as Hackney’s School Streets, which saw 40 streets around schools restricted to through-traffic in September, implemented with the aim of encouraging residents to walk more and cycle.

“I am proud that the child-friendly planning policy will ensure that new developments actively listen to and cater for children and young people so that Hackney becomes an even better and more accessible place to connect with nature, play and freely move around.

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“I would especially encourage children and young people as well as anyone who works, visits and plays in Hackney to contribute to this consultation, so we can create a better borough for all of us,” said Cllr Woodley.

The consultation process will run until January 12 and will collect views on the child-friendly principles, design guidelines and engagement tools via an interactive website.

Workshops with various groups, such as schools, youth centres and disability groups will also be held.

To view the draft Child-Friendly SPD and to share your views, click here.


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