Public want to help with climate resilience through £2million plans to improve Shoreditch Park

Shoreditch Park and the Brittania Leisure Centre are under threat from development of the Crossrail

Shoreditch Park and the Brittania Leisure Centre are under threat from development of the Crossrail project - Credit: Archant

Members of the public have given their feedback on £2million plans to improve Shoreditch Park, leaving Hackney Council to balance a range of conflicting interests.

At a meeting last month users of the park made their suggestions on the redevelopment, which Cllr Steve Race, who sits on the Shoreditch Park development board, described as a "once in a generation opportunity".

New facilities, including toilets and a cafe, were popular requests.

However, Brigid Phillip, who lives in Gainsborough Studios said: "I'm against buildings, I'm against a coffee shop, I'm against toilets, I'm against all these things that just mean more buildings...what we need is more trees and plants and shrubs."

Emma Winch, who runs the consultation for the Council, said: "Our job is to look at how to introduce more trees...but to keep that sense of [space] openness that people really like about the Park.

Some called for more lighting to make it safer. According to Liz Redbourne, landscape architect, there is a balance to be struck between the need for lights and the public requests to enhance wildlife. "More lighting could improve it for personal safety but at the same time it could be negative for certain wildlife, like bats."

Liz added: "The challenge always with public consultation is getting people to think about the bigger picture. At Shoreditch Park we think there is a big potential to help with climate resilience, maybe address issues [such as] air pollution [or] flood mitigation."

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Construction is projected to start in autumn and the new Park to open in early 2021, at the same time as the new Britannia Leisure Centre.

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