Community news and investigative journalism for Wapping E1W and Tower Hamlets London

King Edward Memorial Park draft masterplan exhibition and drop in

During June 2016, the first round of consultation on theKing Edward Memorial Park  (KEMP) masterplan took place. 194 people visited the exhibition at King Edward Memorial Park on June 4, completing 85 questionnaires. 23 additional conversations were documented.

Numerous comments were captured on post-it notes at both events. This feedback is helping the design team come up with a draft masterplan.

King Edward Memorial Park (KEMP)

King Edward Memorial Park (KEMP)

35 people visited the exhibition at Raine House on June 8, and 35 questionnaires were completed. 22 additional questionnaires were sent in subsequently, and three emails were received with comments. [LW comment – only three emails? Come on people!]

The next round of consultation will be to display the draft masterplan for comment in September at Shadwell Basin and John Orwell Sports Centre. Make sure you come along and have a look at what is proposed so you can make your views known.

The masterplan will be finalised during October. Details of the next consultation dates are as follows.

Biggs-Cable-Street-43

John Biggs – “As the Mayor and a local resident I have a keen interest in KEMP and am eager to hear your views.”

  • Shadwell Basin foyer – September 4–11, weekdays 8am–7pm, weekends 9am–5pm. Drop in and have a chat on Sunday September 11th, 10am–1pm
  • John Orwell Sports Centre foyer– September 13–18, weekdays 7am–10pm, weekends 9am–6pm. Drop in and have a chat on Wednesday September 14th, 7pm–9pm

Result of initial consultation

Consultation Responses

Those completing the questionnaire were fairly evenly divided between those visiting the Park most days and those visiting weekly, with a smaller number visiting only monthly or a few times a year.

The most common reason given for visiting the Park was for a walk, followed by ‘enjoying the view’, ‘exercise’, ‘relaxing in nature’ and ‘sport’. A smaller number use the Park as a ‘route to somewhere else’, or ‘accompanying children to play’, ‘meeting friends’ or ‘walking a dog’. Many people gave more than one reason for visiting the Park.

The most frequent answer was ‘a view of the river’ followed closely by ‘peace and quiet’, ‘green space’, a ‘mix of play and green space’ and ‘toilets’. A significant number felt KEMP should provide ‘places for nature’ ‘places to sit’, ‘play for young children’, ‘space for sport’, with a smaller but still significant number wanting the Park to provide ‘play for older children’, ‘entrances and paths that welcome’, ‘native trees’, ‘valuing the site’s heritage’, ‘flowers’ and a ‘café’.

Sport

Sport was the fifth most popular use (out of 10 choices) and the ninth most valued activity (out of 17 choices) in KEMP. Tennis was the most popular sport with about 16% more support than football which was the second most popular sport.

Of those who cited tennis, a significant number asked for more and/or better courts. Of topics not covered by the questionnaire, improving the quality of the sports surfaces, particularly for football, and creating an 11-a-side football pitch were cited most often as important.

Play

The quality most desired in relation to play was safety, and then climbing, slides and fun, closely followed by ‘access for all’, and places for adults to sit. These responses reflect the fact that the majority of respondents were adult.

Natural Landscape

The Park as a ‘place to relax in nature’ was given as the third

most popular use and ‘open green space’ was the third most desired quality. A significant number of comments relate to the need to enhance and care for the natural landscape, to replace trees removed with mature specimens, enhance the wild areas and refurbish and enhance the pond.

Facilities – maybe a café?

The need for toilets was cited as more important

than a café. Of the 18 categories of desirable qualities, toilets were rated fifth with a café 15th. Toilets for the public have to be managed by some form of commercial outlet, so LBTH has commissioned a commercial viability study on potential café locations.

The results of this study are informing plans for a café and toilets in the Park and at Brussels Wharf [Shadwell Basin].

Maintenance

Improved maintenance and the need to address antisocial behaviour were the third and fifth most cited issues.

Summary Conclusion

For the majority of respondents, KEMP is a local and much loved destination as a green space giving access to nature as well as opportunities for play, sports and exercise. The river view is considered the greatest asset of the Park with high value placed on the Edwardian heritage. Although only mid table in popularity of use and value, the sports courts are highly significant to those who use them, particularly tennis and football.

The demand is for more courts and improved surfaces, especially for football, as the current tarmac is considered unsafe and not fit for purpose.

Consultation on the Foreshore

The foreshore was not covered by the exhibition, but comments were invited. The most common feedback was that the design of the ventilation columns should be in keeping with the heritage qualities of the Park.

The details of the vent columns, kiosk and the reinstated part of the Park occupied by Tideway will be submitted to the Council for approval. This will also include the detailed design of the new part of the Park on the foreshore structure. So that the local community can be involved in the development of this element of design there will be separate consultation by Tideway’s contractor, CVB, which is currently planned for the summer of 2017. The planning submission will be made to the Council in autumn 2017.

Work during the next few months

You may see some signs of early work at KEMP. This is ground investigation that will be happening over the coming months.

Contact the project team

In the meantime you can contact the project team via KEMPproject@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Archaeological dig on KEMP foreshore

On a related matter one of our eagle-eyed readers noticed an interesting KEMP related planning application which Carl Dunsire, Chair of Save KEMP, raised with Thames Tideway. The response to Carl is below. 

Dear Carl, 

Thanks for your email regarding the King Edward Memorial Park Foreshore site.

The application you refer to is specifically for initial site setup, enabling and temporary construction activities which have DCO approval. These initial works involve minor or no ground intrusions. The application presents evidence to support the conclusion that any buried archaeological remains are not affected by this initial work. This decision has been reviewed and the proposal to undertake no archaeological recording has been agreed in consultation with Historic England. 

A separate application will be submitted in due course for approval of detailed archaeological works to be undertaken in relation to the main works, including the shaft and foreshore structure. Tideway has now appointed MOLA to undertake Tideway archaeological works across the main construction programme, including future foreshore survey within the construction area.

Local people wanted for digging

With regard to your enquiry as to whether local people will be able to take part in the foreshore archaeological works, Tideway has separately appointed the Museum of London Thames Discovery Programme (TDP) to undertake archaeological foreshore activities that involve their existing network of volunteers and local school classes.   Should a resident wish to participate, they would need to register with the TDP to participate.

Kind regards,

Regards

Allen Summerskill

Stakeholder and Consents Manager – East

For more information


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