Mon. Nov 29th, 2021

A council in north-east London is planning to build small parks the size of car parks across the borough.

Waltham Forest Council invites local businesses to submit their ideas for what they call ‘parklets’ to be established throughout the East London borough.

Parquets, or mini-parks, have emerged around the Waltham Forest and other parts of London for a number of years as part of an initiative to promote green, outdoor common areas and boost locally owned small businesses such as cafes and restaurants.

The spaces can be as small as parking spaces or pedestrian-refuge islands that have been reused to ‘improve the urban landscape’.

READ MORE: Woman wants to turn thousands of parking spaces into small parks after being hit by a motorcycle

The council says it is currently “developing plans for a resident-led parquet program focusing on low-cost interventions, developed and managed by residents, highlighting multiple ways in which a single parking space can be restored”.

Waltham Forest has been a leader in rolling out ‘parklets’ in London

The initiative is co-financed by the council and local companies, where the council is responsible for the construction and maintenance of the rooms.

In the meantime, local stakeholders will be responsible for their use and general maintenance.

Cllr Clyde Loakes, vice president and cabinet member for the environment, said: “People are so used to parked cars dominating our streets that we may not realize how much space they actually take up.

“But instead of using a parking space for a polluting piece of metal lying dormant for 95 percent of the time, we could instead use the space for a small garden, seating for a café or a park that our children could play in. .

Piece by piece, we dismantle an idea that has been dominant in our culture for the past 50 years that the car is king, so these Parklets will allow locals to regain a little bit of their local area from parked cars.

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The locals in the district have largely reacted positively to the few parks that have already been built.

One person described a parquet built on Winchelsea Road as a “wonderful space and a great improvement over the slightly gloomy views in the past (usually seen from the side of a van)”.

The owner of a local wine bar also said the park is “loved by everyone”, adding, “our little corner of Waltham Forest is so much the better for it”.

But not all residents are happy with the small green areas.

Some, however, expressed their shock at the cost of building the parquet on Winchelsea Road, as well as another on Coppermill Lane.

The two parcels, both funded by Transport for London, cost a total of £ 38,760.

The Council will reveal more details on the program in early 2022.

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