'We can do better': Islington Society calls for rethink on Barnard Park plans

Islington Council has come under fire for their placement of the pitches. 

Islington Council has come under scrutiny for their placement of the pitches. - Credit: Islington Council

A proposed £2million revamp to Barnard Park has been met with a tepid response from The Islington Society, which has called elements of the blueprints "banal". 

The society, which operates as a charity to put forward its members’ views, has released a statement on Islington Council’s designs, which are currently up for consultation. 

Town Hall leaders put forward the designs of the park last month, and have trumpeted the environmental aspects that could see more greenery and 38 trees. The £2m would also be partly spent on a new community centre and synthetic surface sports pitch.  

While acknowledging pathways, biodiversity, and entrances would be bettered under plans, the society’s statement showed their underwhelmed feelings. 

The society said redesigned entrances to the park from Copenhagen Street and Boxworth Grove "do not look like good uses of space" and would be "liable to be forgotten".

“And the proposed entrance from Sheen Grove looks very banal in the image provided,” the statement continued. “Surely we can do better.”

The statement added: “The proposed removal of the attractive granite sets of Alma Grove seems regrettable to anyone who enjoys the colour and texture of natural stone and appreciates a sense of history.”

As for the 3G pitch, the society felt the nine-a-side football size offered would not adequately replace the full size gravel one, while the cage structure around it would dominate the landscape. 

Most Read

“The objective of a strong central grass lawn and unifying form were admirable and should not be forgotten,” the statement added.

Islington Council is making the changes as part of its Barnard Park "masterplan", with the aim of creating a space for sport and beauty while boosting biodiversity by 53 per cent. 

The public has until July 26 to comment on the layout and artist impressions. Work could begin in spring 2022 subject to planning consent. 

Islington councillor Rowena Champion said: “The proposed changes to Barnard Park will help transform the area, making it an oasis with new landscaping features, better play and sports facilities, and more biodiversity.”

To take part in the consultation, visit: islington.gov.uk/consultations/2021/barnard-park.