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Barnard Park improvements

This consultation has ended

Start date 25 June 2021
End date 26 July 2021

Barnard Park

Proposed improvements

We are planning to make major improvements to Barnard Park to create a more useable, greener and attractive space for local people. There are £2m in funding (via S106 developer contributions and capital which local Councillors have allocated) available to redevelop Barnard Park.

Our latest consultation on proposed improvements to Barnard Park took place between Monday 28 June 2021 and Monday 26 July 2021. Specifically, this consultation focused on the following changes to the masterplan for Barnard Park:

Improved biodiversity and ecology

  • Remove areas of unnecessary hard surface such as concrete and replace it with plants that encourage wildlife
  • Paths will be made permeable where possible to help drainage
  • Closed entrances will be planted with biodiverse planting

Improved pathways and circulation

  • Simplify the path network to make it easier to move around the park
  • Give better access to entrances
  • Create larger open spaces

Improved entrances and accessibility

  • Close the entrance at Boxworth Grove
  • Create a new entrance at Sheen Grove with level access and better sightlines
  • The entrance at number 24 on the masterplan will be closed and transformed into a planted wildlife area.

We had already consulted previously with the public and extensively with various stakeholders and user groups on the masterplan and other elements of the design including the sports pitch and hub building – therefore, these did not form part of the latest consultation.

Consultation results

The responses we received to the latest consultation were generally positive and included many useful suggestions. We have used these to develop the proposals further.

Based on the consultation feedback, we have also compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) which we hope will serve to answer some of the questions we received as well as clearing up any misunderstandings about some of the details of the planned changes. You can find these under the FAQs drop-down menu.

Under the section ‘Useful documents’, you can also find:

  • a copy of our consultation report
  • the draft management plan for the pitch
  • the draft programme for the pitch
  • the draft management plan for the multi-purpose building
  • the consultation leaflet distributed in the summer of 2021
  • Biodiversity Net Gain Assessment
  • Preliminary Ecological Appraisal
  • Ecological Enhancements Summary
  • Updated Arboricultural Report
  • I-Tree Eco Inventory Report for Barnard Park
  • Greening and Environmental Enhancements
  • Updated masterplan

Next steps

We finalised the masterplan for Barnard Park, taking into account the results of the consultation, and submitted a planning application in December 2021. As part of the statutory process for planning applications there is a consultation period where residents and local park users can submit their views to the local planning authority.  


More information

We have compiled the following list to help answer some of the questions we received – both those that address the recent changes to the masterplan and those that were general enquiries not related to the topics of the consultation.

About the master plan: What did you look for feedback on?

We were looking for feedback on the changes to the park masterplan that had been made during the previous year in response to advice from the council’s planning team. The changes included:

improved biodiversity and ecological enhancements: removing areas of unnecessary hard surface such as concrete and replacing it with plants that encourage wildlife; making paths permeable where possible to help drainage; and planting closed entrances with biodiverse planting.

improved pathways and circulation: simplifying the path network to make it easier to move around the park, give better access to entrances and create larger open spaces

• improved entrances and accessibility: closing the entrance at Boxworth Grove and creating a new entrance at Sheen Grove with level access and better sightlines; and closing the narrow entrance from Copenhagen Street and transforming it into a planted wildlife area.

We did not ask for feedback on the 9v9 size sports pitch and new level grass areas, as these had already been agreed with Sport England and cannot be changed. Stakeholder engagement was carried out on the sports pitch in 2019 and targeted engagement was carried out with key stakeholders and user groups on the hub building in 2020 to develop the design.

About the master plan: What changes have been made to the park masterplan?

Prior to the latest consultation, we had developed the park masterplan in a series of three workshops as part of the formal pre-application process with the Islington Council Planning Department. The changes were made as a response to this advice as part of the normal planning process and to improve the design. Following latest public consultation in summer 2021, some additional changes have been made to the proposal in order to address some of the residents’ comments.

The key principles of the planned changes are to make it easier to get around the park, increase the amount of green space and biodiversity and improve the entrances and accessibility. The changes to the park masterplan will make the park a better place for people and nature, and improve the likelihood of getting planning permission.  

More green space

The planned changes will increase the amount of green space and reduce the hard built space, for example by removing paths to the entrances at Boxworth Grove and Copenhagen Street which will be closed, creating more useable, larger grass areas which will complement the natural elements of the park.

A safer park

By improving the views into, out of and across the park the new layout will reduce opportunities for antisocial behaviour. The circulation around and across the park and the removal or reduction of physical and visual barriers will help with this as well.  

A healthier place

The health benefits for people using the park will be improved with new walking and running routes around the park and direct walking routes through it to improve exercise and active travel options. An outdoor gym will provide facilities to exercise for different ages and abilities. Pathways and entrances will be accessible to ensure that everyone can enter and move around the park easily. Running routes will be signposted to give directions and distance markers. Ample cycle parking will be provided at different locations in the park to promote cycling to the park and giving people the opportunity to securely lock their bike and use facilities within the park.  

A park for people and nature

People’s access to nature will be greatly improved. With all the proposed ecological enhancements there will be a Biodiversity Net Gain of 52%. This has been calculated using Biodiversity Metric 2.0 Biodiversity Calculation Tool Beta Version (Natural England, December 2019) and the full Biodiversity Net Gain Assessment is available on this webpage under the ‘Useful documents’ section. There will be increase of 887 square metres of thicket planting, shrubs, climbers, groundcovers and bulbs and 1471 square metres of wildflower meadow and areas of relaxed mowing. This will give park users the opportunity to get closer to plants and wildlife.  

The planned changes will help biodiversity, adding to the park’s existing ecological value demonstrated by its SINC (Site of Importance for Nature Conservation) designation. It is hoped that the higher level of SINC designation will be achieved with the following changes:

  • 51 new carefully positioned trees (an 18.5% increase), and an increase in diversity of tree species on site and in the overall numbers of trees in the park. Tree planting across the site has been designed in collaboration between arboriculturalists, landscape architects and ecologists. The tree species selected will provide a high diversity of native tree species to attract and support native wildlife, particularly invertebrates.
  • Re-purposing removed trees on site for tree trunk play features, log piles and mulching of planted areas
  • A new traditional orchard area – his is a UK Priority Habitat
  • New large areas of thicket planting and native shrub planting to increase biodiversity in the park
  • New areas of wildflower meadow and relaxed mowing
  • New native hedgerows providing a continuous corridor of habitat for birds and other wildlife Sensory planting area providing feeding resource for butterflies, bumblebees and other pollinators
  • New bird and bat boxes across the park in trees and on the new hub building
  • Sustainable drainage features to capture rainfall and prevent flooding including swales and permeable paths
  • The hub building will have a biodiverse green roof and air source heat pump to reduce the building carbon footprint  

About the master plan: Why are you removing trees from the park?

The layout of the park is changing considerably to allow the new 9v9 pitch and new level grass area for informal sport and leisure. The new community hub building and the change in alignment of the north-south central path also need to fit into the layout and create a park that is not dominated by the sports pitch and permits direct routes through the park.

The position of the pitch will allow people to move around the park and avoid creating pinch points at its corners. The positioning allows the design of the paths to remain wide enough for people to pass each other with enough space. We have investigated moving the pitch further to the east but it was determined that it would result in the lighting from the pitch being too close to residents on Barnsbury Road. Moving the pitch to the east would have also resulted in further trees being removed on that side.

We have had an Arboricultural Report produced including an Arboricultural Impact Assessment and it states that alternative design solutions would likely require additional tree removals and restrict the number of trees that could be viably planted to screen the sports pitch from the north.

Reluctantly, after many changes to the layout, it was decided that to provide a workable plan for the park some large trees need to be removed.   We intend to mitigate the loss of 13 trees by planting 51 carefully selected new trees which will increase the overall number of trees on site and increase the ecosystem services of the trees in the long term.

We commissioned an iTree report looking at trees on site, proposed removals, new trees, and forecasted comparative benefits to 2036 based on growth estimates. Many of the results were positive over a 15-year period and would improve further over a longer period. Findings include:

  • Improved tree species diversity, population and resilience in the future. Ecology and sustainability improved with proposed trees.
  • If existing trees are retained with growth projected it is forecasted that the pollutant removal in 2036 will be 58 kg; with our planned removals and new planting this is forecast to reach 62 kg per year.
  • With projections of growth in 15 years, it was forecast that with the site unchanged, and the entire tree population surviving in good health, the value of carbon sequestration would be 1.9 tonnes; this reaches 2.1 tonnes under our plans should the proposed new trees grow at the expected rate.
  • Projections on water interception and avoided run off to 2036 demonstrate that the development will potentially have a positive impact on the hydrology of the site.
  • This development will impact on ecosystem services – however given suitable time to establish, and with continued maintenance undertaken it would be expected that ecosystem services will increase in the long term.

We will also be making the many other enhancements to the biodiversity on site as detailed previously.  

All Arboricultural and ecology reports including the iTree Report can be found under the section ‘Useful documents’. The arboricultural report was updated in November 2021 due to the changes we have made to the masterplan upon receiving residents’ feedback.

About the master plan: Why are you changing the entrances at the north of the park?

We are planning to close the entrance at Boxworth Grove and create a new entrance at Sheen Grove to create a safer and more visible entrance into the park. The current entrance at Boxworth Grove is dark and has poor sightlines. The planned new entrance at Sheen Grove will create a much more accessible and visible entrance into the park from the north. This new entrance will link into the new path network that creates circulation around the park. The closed entrance at Boxworth Grove will allow for a new area of wildlife-friendly planting and a larger green space in this corner of the park.

About the master plan: Why are you closing the park entrance at Copenhagen Street?

We are planning to close this small pedestrian entrance to the park as it has poor accessibility and poor sightlines into the park. Closing this entrance from the street will follow Secure by Design standards and look to reduce the potential for crime. Closing this entrance also allows for removing unnecessary paths and provides larger grass areas. The space inside the closed entrance will also feature more planting to enhance biodiversity. This entrance is also close to the main primary entrance to the park from Charlotte Terrace and this main entrance provides the link to walking routes through the park.

About the master plan: What are the proposed changes on Charlotte Terrace entrance?

The improved Charlotte Terrace entrance will have a new footpath layout that connects to the new North-South footpath route and new entrance at Sheen Grove. The existing brick banding will be extended to unify steps and entrance area. The existing muddy grass at the entrance will be paved to create a generous events space.

 

It is clear from some of the comments received that there is some confusion about which entrance is proposed for closure. The entrance at the end of Charlotte Terrace, also the main entrance to the park and a vehicular entrance will remain open. The small pedestrian entrance behind the residential properties on Charlotte Terrace (at Copenhagen Street) is the one proposed for closure. Access to the park from the south will be maintained and the closure will not adversely affect commuting routes through the park.

About the master plan: What are the proposed changes on Hemingford Road entrance?

The Hemingford Road entrance will be realigned to provide access that is better positioned near to the large street tree on the pavement along Hemingford Road. The new entrance will better align to the existing path through the avenue of lime trees. The path will link in the areas on either side with the addition of new seating, picnic tables, tree and shrub planting.

About the master plan: What are the proposed changes on Alma Grove?

The masterplan proposed to remove the lower end of the cobbled street in order to unite the adjacent green spaces and encourage more use of the area. Having taken into account residents’ feedback, it is now proposed to remove a small portion of the cobbled street only and to provide a new bench on the cobbles that will enable an active use of this historic feature. A new information board will be provided on site with the history of Alma Grove.

General: When can we see plans for the new community hub building?

The plans for the new building will be finalised and form part of the planning application. The layout and design will be available to view as part of statutory consultation. Key user groups of the building have been part of extensive targeted engagement sessions on the design development of the building. A copy of the draft Barnard Park hub building management plan can be found under the section ‘Useful documents’.

General: Which sport activities will take place on the new sports pitch? What programme of sports activities will the new sports pitch offer?

A balanced programme of Free Play activities, targeted youth provision for local groups and some bookable paid slots has been developed to enable the site to respond to the immediate needs of the area. Islington Council’s leisure team liaised with a number of key strategic partners and various stakeholders that had either expressed an interest during the consultation period or were users of the facility. These consultation meetings resulted in the production of the following documents:

  • Barnard Park 3G football pitch management plan
  • Barnard Park 3G football pitch programme  

The above listed documents can be found on the Barnard Park Improvements webpage, under the section ‘Useful documents’.

General: Can we have a bigger/smaller football pitch?

The masterplan for Barnard Park provides for a nine-a-side football pitch. Initially, the improvements that the council proposed for Barnard Park involved the implementation of a smaller, seven-a-side pitch. However, stakeholders including Sport England objected to this on the basis that a larger pitch would be needed, and the planning application was therefore “called in” by the then Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. Given the opposition from the wider community to an 11-a-side pitch, the council has moved forwards with proposals for a nine-a-side pitch. This has been agreed with Sport England and cannot be changed.

General: Will dogs be allowed in Barnard Park after the proposed improvement works?

Yes, dogs will continue to be allowed in Barnard Park. 

General: Will there be a space for roller skating in the park?

The paths in the park will be able to be used by roller skaters and there are initial plans to possibly include some skating facilities at another park nearby. It is one of the options to include a skating area at Bingfield Park that sits in between Caledonian Road and Kings Cross.

General: Can the park accommodate a tennis court/basketball court/space for cricket?

Unfortunately not. The provision for a nine-a-side football pitch comes from an agreement with Sport England which cannot be changed. The size and the location of the proposed pitch does not allow for enough space to accommodate any of the additional sport facilities mentioned above. In addition, the project budget would not be sufficient to include additional sport facilities in the current proposal. 

General: What will happen to the existing play areas?

No changes are proposed to the existing play area in the park.  

The boundary line of the enclosed open space that is part of the One O'Clock Club will change slightly. The southern boundary fence will be moved north to improve safety by ensuring there are no areas that cannot be seen from other parts of the park and link better with the proposed new community hub building.

General: Are there any proposed changes to improve park safety (i.e. CCTV and lighting)?

Park Safety

Circulation and visibility is to be improved by removing the existing redgra pitch and surrounding fencing, opening up access for a new diagonal footpath connecting Hemingford Road entrance to the South West to Barnesbury Rd north entrance to the North East. By attracting more people to use this cross park route we will encourage better visibility and self policing.

Muddy paths are being replaced with accessible porous surfaced paths to the east, thus reducing the chance of slipping and falling. Encouraging more people to use this more accessible route will improve self policing.

The existing Boxworth Grove entrance is dark, with a steep path, and is poorly overlooked. The existing main North-South path between the toilet block and western fencing to the redgra is a tight space, with no escape route. Both these areas are being improved: Boxworth Grove entrance is being closed and replaced as the northern entrance with an open, visible and accessible new entrance onto Sheen Grove.

Copenhagen Street entrance is currently a narrow, tight space between the backs of adjacent new buildings with very little overlooking. A large Horse Chestnut tree stands beside the entrance, blocking views into the park from buildings to the south. There has been a history of anti social behaviour here and the entrance is not well used. This entrance is 20m from the main entrance and consequently it is proposed to close Copenhagen Street entrance.  

Lighting

Existing lamp column positions will be adjusted to relate to new footpath layout: the existing North-South path and East-West path are lit routes, and will continue to be lit. We are proposing closing the Boxworth Grove Northern entrance and opening Sheen Grove as the new northern entrance; consequently the new North-South lit route will be from Charlotte Terrace to Sheen Grove. Sports Pitch floodlighting will provide ambient lighting to the proposed diagonal path from Hemingford Road entrance to Barnesbury Rd north entrance. No additional lamp columns are proposed between Sheen Grove entrance and Barnesbury Rd north entrance.  

CCTV

The existing CCTV mast will remain at the entrance to Charlotte Terrace.

General: Will the proposal include a new pond?

The proposal for a new pond is not part of the project scope therefore not part of this phase of improvements to Barnard Park. However, we hope to include a wildlife pond in the future. The pond will bring enhancements to the biodiversity of the park and have educational purposes. All safety and risks assessments will be carried out should we proceed with this proposal.
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