King Edward Memorial Park is a beautiful space, and an integral part of Tower Hamlets’ riverfront. As part of the Tideway sewer expansion project, which will run under the park, its layout will be affected and thus the Council has gained £3 million in funding to redevelop the park.
While we support the expansion of London’s overstretched sewer capacity, any redevelopment to the park needs to be done sensitively, as it is such an important part of Tower Hamlets’ heritage. Having said that, the park has been grossly neglected over the last few years, and this project could provide a good opportunity for some well-needed maintenance.
Tower Hamlets Lib Dems attended a consultation at the park on Saturday 4 June, where the developers were canvassing suggestions for the redevelopment. Although they did not provide any firm plans at this stage, there were some key ideas that were being suggested. These included installing a café and toilet in the park, linking it with the proposed Wapping Lido, and increasing the capacity of the over-subscribed tennis courts.
These could help improve the park, but we have some remaining concerns:
- Any expansion would require the removal of the bowling green. Although this has fallen out of use in recent years, we would be interested to know if any local residents would prefer this space to be regenerated rather than removed.
- Incorporating the lido could have an impact on the residents of Glamis Road, who live in between this and the park.
- The Western end of the park is very unkempt, with little access between the park and the sports areas. This should be opened up and made more attractive and accessible.
- The main element of the Tideway project will be large towers that will be installed at the front of the park. The developers have given little indication of what these would look like and how they would be incorporated into the new look-and-feel of the park.
The consultation is continuing, with a meeting at Raine House, 16 Raine St, on 8 June at 6.30pm. Please let us know your views at firstname.lastname@example.org, or come along to the meeting on Wednesday.