King Edward Memorial Park Proposals

IMG_3221London is getting a new sewer system, known as the Thames Tideway project, and we stand to be affected as they need to dig a big shaft in King Edward Memorial Park to access the tunnel works.

The bad news is that we’ll face some disruption to KEMP and we won’t be able to see the beautiful river view of Canary Wharf for some time.

The good news is that we get a big lump of cash to invest in the park. This will lead to revamped sports facilities and landscaping by 2020.

At the moment, Tideway is consulting residents on the plans. Here are the details of this week’s consultation. John Orwell Sports Centre foyer– September 13-18, weekdays 7am-10pm, weekends 9am-6pm. Drop in and have a chat, Wednesday September 14th, 7pm-9pm

They also had a consultation at Shadwell Basin on Sunday and I went along. I asked if I could have a copy of the slides to share with everyone on this website, but they said no. Alas, my cruddy iPhone pictures will have to suffice. See below.

Some things I picked up:-

-We’re going to get new tennis courts, including children’s practice courts.

-We’re going to get a couple of multi-use pitches – one which can be used for five-a-side football and basketball, the other which can be for eleven-a-side football and netball. They will probably get the sports area revamped first, before starting the other works.

-Woven around the courts area is going to be a super-duper children’s play area that will include stuff for kids of different ages. This potentially includes a watery roof/water feature thing, a mini mountain range, some swinging baskets, and a climbing thing for older kids. This is reassuring as I have asked in my consultation responses for something akin to the imaginative and adventurous sand and water play area in Victoria Park, which is really excellent.

-There will be a quieter nature area with a pond, and likely new bandstand, on the right side of the park. The middle section will be left pretty much as is.

-The consultation for the foreshore, which is a bit more controversial, is a separate thing to the masterplan for KEMP. People are concerned that there’s too much hard landscaping here, and that there might be some ugly above-ground service structures for the tunnel. They don’t seem to be giving much ground on this, judging from the slide – see picture below.

-Lots of residents want toilets in the park. This is currently under discussion as it all links into the question of whether there’s going to be a lido at Shadwell Basin. The Tideway people are currently helping the council conduct an economic viability study on this which will be completed in the next couple of months. If they decide to go with a lido (likely to be more modest than that currently proposed by the Turk’s Head) then they would probably have a cafe and toilet block on Brussels Wharf and then a small seasonal kiosk in KEMP. There are lots of caveats with this paragraph – ifs and buts and maybes, so don’t take any of it as definite, just thoughts.

-They want to keep a sense of enclosure from the Highway but will tart up the upper promenade so that it is more inviting.

If you have strong views about what you’d like to see in the park, don’t keep them to yourself. Share with Tideway!! Let’s get the best facilities and most beautiful park that we can get if we’re going to have all this disruption!

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