Developers do not quite reject Goodsyard petition

GoodsyardPark(Hammerson-supplied) July 2014
Goodsyard site in Bethnal Green Road
Goodsyard site in Bethnal Green Road and, top, the proposed park

DEVELOPERS have given a cautious response to news of a petition to create  an anti-pollution park on the former goodsyard site they want to develop in Shoreditch.

Hammerson and Ballymore have applied to Hackney and Tower Hamlets councils for permission to erect buildings of up to 46 floors and to refurbish listed buildings on the site, which is owned by Network Rail and measures more than four hectares, about the size of seven football pitches. The Goodsyard towers, near Shoreditch High Street Overground station, will provide 1,400 flats, offices and shops.

Petition organisers the East London Garden Society say the best way to reduce pollution in the area, which borders the City of London, would be a forest garden covering 800m by 200m within the scheme.

Told of the petition, Hammerson and Ballymore did not reject it but said: “It is unrealistic to expect any open space to be of single use.

“The Goodsyard landscape has been designed [in our scheme] taking on board the aspirations of the local community consultation feedback to offer a variety of uses and experiences to the broadest range of the population as possible.

Computer graphic by JB Project Architects shows the forest the garden petitioners want

“This includes lawns, natural play areas, food cultivation and seating. Also as the Goodsyard is likely to be a very popular destination, the park will need to cater for large volumes of people ranging from local residents, workers during the week to visitors of Brick lane and Shoreditch at the weekend.

“To be able to cope with this, the park will require robust and generous pathways, hard areas and seating… a forest garden would limit it to just one use… the park design submitted for planning illustrates three distinct elements; a large open green space, a cultivation zone and a woodland area.

“Inherent within the design proposals are the inclusion of trees throughout the park, not just a concentration in one area.”

Goodsyard site Shoreditch / Bishopsgate London 310714 ©
Off the rails: the Goodsyard site

The developers tell Loving Dalston that they undertook a “significant” engagement with the local community and appointed a public-open-space design practice, Spacehub, to “ensure that the proposals for the park achieved a balance of usability with the aspirations of the local users”.

The East London Garden Society wants them to go further by providing the wooded space, explaining that a community park with a lot of vegetation in an urban area would lessen pollution.

The society adds: “We urge Hammerson and the Ballymore Group to take note of what the local population wants and not install an inappropriate park that would not fulfil the above objective.”

Hamish Scott 290714 

* The petition 

* Backstory: Hackney’s first 50-storey building; City moves on the Ditch; Next act: 40-floor Shakespeare tower

* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.

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