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Statement - Barnard Park

Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington Council’s executive member for environment and transport, said: “Barnard Park is in desperate need of improvement. The Secretary of State’s decision to ‘call in’ the plan to improve the park that the council had developed with local residents and park users over many years, means that the community faces even longer delays before their park is brought up to scratch. 

“There have been differing views on this project, but following extensive discussions with the community and park users, we agreed a plan, with majority support, that sought to strike a reasonable balance so that Barnard Park could be enjoyed by all including parents, older people, footballers, children and young people and other park users.

“To ensure we can deliver a better Barnard Park without further delays, and to avoid having to spend a large amount of public money on a planning inquiry at a time of continued massive cuts by the Government, the council met with Sport England, the Football Foundation and The FA to examine if a compromise could be found. 

“We are pleased that, as a result of these discussions, a plan that has the support of Sport England has emerged, which will see Barnard Park get the much needed improvements that local residents and park users want, alongside a new 3G 9-a-side football pitch.  We will also bring forward plans to provide improved park facilities, with a hub building that includes new park toilets.

“This new plan to improve Barnard Park will see this precious green space improved more quickly than continuing with the Secretary of State’s public inquiry.  The revised design will be based on the existing scheme, and we will of course consult residents on the new plan.  We are very grateful to all the many local residents who have already given their views and feedback on the future shape of the park.”

NOTES:

Islington Council has written today (Friday, October 13) to the Planning Inspectorate to withdraw its planning application for Barnard Park.  A new planning application including a new 3G 9-a-side football pitch will be submitted at a later date, and there will be full statutory consultation.