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A study for the London borough of Newham comprising consultation, observation, proposals, feasability studies and conclusions.

Part 2: Feasability Studies to be read in conjunction with Part 1: The Report

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April 2004


Contents The feasibility studies that follow examine the potential of open spaces, identified by members of the Community Fora, The Youth Fora, Youth Groups and various individuals in early 2004.

The studies are organised according to categories of types of sites:

Open spaces within housing page 3 Routes page 12 Open spaces on the highway page 37 Open spaces with limited activity page 53 Existing centre attractive to young people page 58 Open spaces adjacent to community centres page 66 Existing sport provision page 74

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Open spaces within housing

sites 1-4

Leather Lane Estate Stratford site 1 site 2 site 3 site 4

Central space Leather Gardens Estate Former playground and grassed area alongside, Leather Gardens Estate Area adjacent to Abbey Road Bexhill Walk

site 5

Wythes Road / Albert Road North Woolwich / Silvertown

site 6

Albert Road / Tate Road North Woolwich / Silvertown

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Leather Lane Estate

Stratford

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1-4

Comprising of: Leather Gardens central open space; the former playground and adjacent grass spaces; an area of ground adjacent to Abbey Road; and an area alongside Bexhill Walk. Development plans are being prepared for the site.

Location The Leather Gardens Estate is positioned between New Plaistow Road and Manor Road. Four sites are identified for the report within the estate boundaries.

Leather Gardens Consultation All these sites were identified by Danny Nolan of the Youth Parliament and Randall Courtney, housing officer. They commented that there were no amenities for young people on the Estate. Tenants attending meetings about the proposed master planning of the estate were happy about provision for under 5s but anxious about noise associated with playgrounds and kick about areas.

As existing Both adults on the Community Forum and young people identified the following sites, Abbey Road, Leather Garden’s central open space, Bexhill Road and Mitre Road as relevant to the study. They are considered together since they fall within the Leather Gardens Estate master plan (authored by Stephen Millard LBN). This master plan is currently in development with the tenants, and is nearing completion (Spring 2004). The master plan proposes to excise all but the most protected open spaces and develop the remaining area as mixed tenure housing, car parking and private gardens. At present no sum has been allocated for the landscaping of the open spaces which will be retained. Consultation with residents, resulted in requests for no kick about areas or other provisions for older children. However residents at meetings are self selecting and there is no representation or involvement of young people at those meetings, although the design team is currently working to further involve young people. On what is a large estate there is no play provision, the only amenity, the small playground on Bexhill Road was repeatedly vandalised and is currently closed The 2 - 3 years necessary to consolidate the master plan scheme before building commences will result in a period of enforced limbo for the existing open spaces where investment and therefore positive use will be minimal.

1

Central open area not to be built on but planned as open space in Masterplan

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4

1 2

3

2

playground

4

inbetween space

3

‘secret’ garden

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Proposal A Proposal for testing the potential - the WHAT IF? This potentially negative situation can become a positive opportunity to research and develop a viable and sustainable scheme for the open space that is to remain. The central area of Leather Gardens (3.600m2) is currently empty and is subject to LBN Housing’s minimal maintenance schedules. It is flanked by one tower and low rise housing. Last summer some activities took place there for young people which were successful. The space has the potential to be a community garden. The challenge is to create a space shared between different groups without either a single group taking over or the sense of ownership becoming so disparate all cease to care for the space and amenities. The interim period before the master plan is implemented is an ideal opportunity to develop a project to identify the different groups who are the potential users of this new space and to work with them to generate the design and a sense ownership. Stage 1 Temporary schemes on the sites that will be developed. The existing five open spaces can separately host a variety of activities and different interests as temporary transformations. This could take place as an artist led project. A series of what if scenarios can be enacted at 1:1 where possible and possible viable public pleasures will be created to transform the existing everyday into a real fantasy. These scenarios will be ambitious. They will be inhabited by the active creativity of both the young people and their elders. The enactment could leave traces or trigger changes to these spaces. For example the site on Abbey Road could be planted as a corn field and then harvested as an event. Illustrations show temporary transformations.These temporary events will reveal the jigsaw of desires that must inform the brief for a design that enable all the different potential uses to co-exist.

example for temporary scheme: a corn field

example for temporary scheme: mobile gardens

Permanent Proposals The proposed schematic layout on the next page shows a kick about area, set as far as possible from the housing, ringed by an under 5s playground with scented garden seating and a stage area, shielded by soft and hard landscaped acoustic and spatial buffers. In addition to the project to develop the brief, research to secure a high level of maintenance and organised activities will ensure the success of the garden. These might include regular basketball coaching in the kick about area, a play worker visiting the playground and a garOpen spaces that are not parks (with an emphasis on youth) muf architecture/art April 2004

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dening club and gardener. The garden could have limited access by siting the route to the garden through the concierge scheme, acknowledging that this is a semi-public space - in the spirit of gated London Squares - not a public one.

Costs Cost for the temporary WHAT IF? proposals. Artist led project including props and temporary planting etc. ÂŁ20,000 - 30,000 Cost for permanent project ÂŁ250,000 not including fees.

Opportunities and Limits The site is being master planned, therefore, capital projects on the smaller sites are unfeasible. Potential to involve all tenants including young people in the future of the site. Because any improvements are temporary there is more leeway to take risks and try out uses that might in other circumstances be deemed too high maintenance. The possibility of 106 monies to fund the final public space.

Possibilities of external funding Housing

Fenced ball games area

Seating facing ball games area and play area for small children Play equipment for small children

Garden treatment working as sound barrier

The active presence of a tenants group makes the site eligible for grants which must be applied for by the local community. The proposal described above could be suitable for the funding described below, perhaps augmented by a bid to the Arts Council. Innovation into Action Grants from the Chartered Institute of Housing. The Innovation into Action grant programme funds projects to develop radical or new ways of involving council tenants in managing their homes in authorities or Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMOs) across England. It provides funding for tenants groups either working alone or with partner agencies to encourage, develop and promote the widest possible range of tenant participation options. The grant programme is open to tenants Open spaces that are not parks (with an emphasis on youth) muf architecture/art April 2004

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groups, councils or other interested organisations who have proposals involving innovative approaches to tenant involvement in council or ALMO homes across England. The total fund value is £4,000,000 with minimum grants given at £500 and a maximum of £60,000 (guidance figures). ODPM committed about £4million to the programme for the first 3 years. The grant programme was reviewed in March 2003 and it was decided that this grant should continue. To date there is no set deadline for the grant programme to end. Key Criteria for projects: Applications must demonstrate that proposed projects: are genuinely innovative can be replicated elsewhere in a sustainable way (i.e. can work without Tenant Empowerment Grant aid) incorporate a way of getting the message across to other organisations (e.g. a 'handbook' or 'tool kit').

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Wythes Road / Albert Road

site

5

North Woolwich / Silvertown Ownership LBN Housing

Identified by Identified by the Community Fora

What people say ‘Its loneliest on Saturdays round here, on Saturdays when there are no drop -ins or anything to go to with the baby.’ Mother at SureStart

As existing The site is an L shaped grassed site of 400m2. It is an infill site between the gable end of a public house party wall of a terrace of houses. Its ownership is uncertain, but thought to be LBN Housing, although as Silvertown is developed it will become attractive for development given its location.

As existing

Proposal The overlooked location and the public face on Tate Road make it suitable as a pocket park with seating, planting and perhaps under 5s play equipment (see examples in the techniques section of this report, Part1, page 14). Because many houses in the immediate area have garden, the space must be designed as a social space if it is to be used. The proximity of the adjacent housing and the size of the site makes it unsuitable for sports, except perhaps for a climbing wall. Given current levels of maintenance, a design for a space such as this must be equally a design for its management. If partners are able to share the management, costs could be identified, for example the site could be designed as a satellite SureStart space with advertisements and information concerning the SureStart amenities and activities elsewhere. Alternatively, an incremental approach to change could begin by planting the party wall of the pub with a variety of vertical climbers. If these were judged to be successful part of the site could then be planted and seating installed. This is the type of site that Groundwork Hackney might take on with their Intermediate Labour Market Project.

Year1

Year 2

Year 3

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Costs Capital costs for incremental change (or partnership) Phase 1 Plants topsoil etc. Phase 2 Seating and secure boundaries Phase 3 Play equipment Total from ÂŁ2,000 to ÂŁ50,000

Funding See Funding section of the report (Part1, page21). If the Community is active the number of potential sources of funding is far greater.

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Albert Road / Tate Road

North Woolwich / Silvertown

site

6

Location A corner site on the corner of Tate Road and Albert Road.

As existing The site is situated on a corner opposite the Tate and Lyle factory at the junction of Albert Road and Tate Road, on two sides it is bordered by a public house and the boundary walls of housing and gardens. Opposite and on the other side of the road is a bus stop. The site is close to Silvertown station. Its dimensions are 1000m2. The site is currently grassed over, with marginally more amenities than usual: bulbs, a path and a bench. At times the smell of burnt sugar from the factory is overwhelming. At the end of shifts large numbers of people pass along the street. The site has informal surveillance from the pub, the housing and the bus stop opposite and is therefore potentially suitable as a social space on the street.

Site with Tate and Lyle factory to the right.

Proposal We propose that this could be the site of a small scale but ambitious hard and soft landscaping scheme developed and designed through workshops with young people. The scheme could create a strip of hard surface with benches and the area behind planted with meadow grass and strongly scented fragrant planting to give a microclimate when the wind is blowing South-East. The project can be initiated with temporary events on the site and other events choreographed through the design process. The workshops could refer directly to the overwhelming presence of the factory, its cultural significance both past and present and memorable events, for example the wartime bombing of the factory when liquid sugar poured into the Thames and set like toffee. A team that includes a designer, artist and historian and can attract funding from the Arts council and/or the Heritage Lottery Fund can lead the project.

Cost Cost for a permanent project ÂŁ50,000 - ÂŁ100,000

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Routes

site 7

Little Ilford underpass Manor Park

site 8

Pedestrian Bridge East Ham

site 9

Snowshill Road / Church Road Manor Park

site 10

Beckton Corridor a.k.a ‘Coke Path’ Beckton

site 11

The end of Winsor Terrace Beckton

site 12

Greenway West Ham

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Little Ilford underpass

Manor Park

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7

Location The Little Ilford underpass is situated immediately West of the North Circular Road (A406) and adjacent to the East Ham Main Depots (for trains). It connects the residential areas around Barrington Road to the north and Stevenage Road to the south. The overground East-West going rail connection is currently being expanded to accommodate the channel tunnel rail link. The underpass is the last under rail connection before the North Circular Road, the nearest other access under the railway is about 1 km away (Browning Road).

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As existing The underpass is used by residents from the surrounding terraces and housing estates, mainly as pedestrian access route between Barrington Playing Fields to the North and the Sports Ground to the South, but also as connection to schools in the area. This underpass is approximately 45 meters long and 8 meters wide and hence provides a large sheltered space of 360m2. It is 2.4 - 2.5 meter high. A concrete paved footway runs through the underpass. There is an opening to the sky in the centre of the underpass allowing streams of day/sunlight to enter the space. The walls of the underpass are brick and the ceiling concrete; all is painted glossy white. The underpass that used to have vehicular access is presently closed off for traffic by large concrete blocks at either end. Building works are taking place on the tunnel rail link above. The underpass will remain closed for vehicular access after completion of the works.The railway bridge further along the road towards the south is still in use for vehicles needing to access the depot area.

5

1

2

4

3

6

1

Underpass interior Looking north. Concrete blocks prevent vehic-

South-facing underpass front.

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Railway bridge seen from the North.

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Entrance to East Ham Main Depots

5

Barrington Playing Fields

6

Sports Ground

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What do people say? “Nice and dry, lots of us meet their at weekends. It needs a bench.� a group of young women from Plashet School

The scale of the underpass and bridge is vast compared to the dense small scale of the adjacent residential areas. On approach the underpass is easily perceived as a dead end because of the kink 2/3 along its length. From either entrance the exit is not visible. At night time the underpass feels even more unwelcoming and unpleasant.

Little Ilford Underpass. A large area of sheltered outdoor space with potential for social activity.

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Design objectives The proposed upgrading of this underpass should be seen as an exemplary project that could be applied in other situations. We have identified the following design objectives for the Little Ilford underpass: Increase sense of security By adding lighting the underpass will feel more secure for users and pedestrians and the site can be used at night as well as during the day. Coloured lighting could add the the atmosphere in the space and make it more special and attractive to its users; also at night. Large mirrors inside and at the entrances to the underpass (angled against ceiling in stainless steel or perspex) will increase visibility from into the underpass for approaching pedestrians and views out of the underpass once inside. They would also improve visibility and sense of direction around the entrances. Adding signage at the ends of the underpass will also increase sense of direction and security. Increase usage Providing informal seating in appropriately sized clusters acknowledges the current status of the underpass as a meeting space but limits sprawl. Seating should be arranged so that there is still easy passage for pedestrians and cyclists. Hence the existing footway will remain and a new path made for cyclists. Enhance visual appearance At present the underpass appears bleak and unattractive in spite of its white painted walls and ceiling. We suggest making the underpass appear more glamourous and attractive, transforming it, as with other ‘invested in’ spaces, as a pleasant place to pass through. Upgrade ground surfaces in areas with seats to create smaller spaces within the largescaled underpass. Coating the floor with a ‘shiny pale matte’ of floor paint below the existing skylight would enhance and reflect the effect of the daylight coming into the interior of the underpass. Also consider incremental upgrading: -

Upgrade all ground surfaces under and around the underpass; including existing footway and a new cycle lane. Generally improve lighting in areas at either end of the underpass and under railway bridge. Place mirror under adjacent railway bridge to enhance visibility.

Informal seating.

Flood lighting.

Feature lighting.

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Design objectives (continued) To attract young people’s attention to the site and to test the extent of use of the underpass as a social space we suggest setting up a temporary transformation of the underpass. 20 chairs and a big chandelier will be the props to encourage the inhabitation of the space during this event. Work with the group of young people who use the space at present. Repeat once a week for a month. Use this event as an opportunity to develop the discussions initiated by this report.

Van and chairs.

Set up for temporary event; 20 chairs and one chandelier.

Proposal for Little Ilford Underpass: making it a pleasant space to spend time in.

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Detailed design & costs Outline specification Items: Re-surface areas for seating. Coloured tarmac or road paint. 12 no seats/bollards. Painted steel or coloured concrete. Polished stainless steel mirrors as appropriate to create views through the underpass. 15 no urbis floodlights or similar mounted in clusters of 5. Vandal resistant. Possibly with coloured filters. Upgrade paint work on brick walls and ceiling. 2 no signage at high level at either end of the underpass.

Costs The costs will be in the range of ÂŁ125,000 - ÂŁ175,000 Incremental improvements: Upgrade all ground surfaces; including footway and cycle lane. Generally improve lighting in areas at either end of the underpass. Mount 5 no urbis floodlights or similar under railway bridge. Mirror under Railway Bridge

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Opportunities and limits The underpass is away from housing. Any activity here, therefore, at any time during the day will not disturb local residents. Links to spaces used by young people and links to neighbourhoods.

Ownership LBN Highway

Possible sources of external funding External funding for temporary event. Refer to design objectives. External funding for the permanent scheme to be determined. Funds from crime reduction budgets might be appropriate.

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Priorities Priorities are being established on the basis of: Local need What other similar provision exists? In the case of a route what does it connect? Generally what other provision exists? How does it meet the needs of young people? Support Who supports the proposal? Opportunities for external funding How attractive might the project be for external funding? Who might take the project forward? Are there existing programmes that this project might fit into? Would the project need to be officer led?

The case for the Barrington Road underpass Local need There is no other sheltered outdoor spaces in the area for informal meeting. The underpass is away from housing and activity at any time during the day will not disturb local residents. The underpass links spaces that are used by young people and links neighbourhoods. Furthermore the underpass is car free. As such it is an important young people’s route. Any improvement would encourage greater usage by members of the community and increase the sense of security. Support The proposals for this site are supported by young people. Opportunities for external funding External funding for temporary event. Refer to design objectives (page 15). External funding for the permanent scheme to be determined. Funds from crime reduction budgets may be appropriate here. Who might take the project forward? The project would need to be officer led.

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Pedestrian Bridge

East Ham

site

8

Location Pedestrian Bridge crossing railway lines between Southend Road and Shakespeare Crescent.

Ownership Network Rail and LBN

Identified by The site was identified by a group of young women encountered on a walkabout.

As existing This brick clad pedestrian bridge has been included in the study as both a nominated open space and as a case study of what makes a site successful. The young women met sitting on the steps described it as a good space for young people because it is sociable, people

pass by, it is between school and home, their parents couldn't see them from a car and it is sheltered.

Proposal Given Network Rail and London Underground’s anxiety about the potential for vandalism it is unlikely that they would be enthusiastic about capital investment to encourage young people to linger on pedestrian bridges. But this does not rule out exploring this popularity with young people, by installing notice boards at the foot of the stairs or seeing this as a strategic site for future consultation. Lighting: If the lighting were improved adults would feel less threatened by the presence of the young people on the bridge.

Costs From £1,000 for a secure notice board to £10,000 for lighting.

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Snowshill Road / Church Road

Manor Park

site

9

Location see map

Ownership LBN Housing

Identified by Identified by the young women who attend the Asian Women’s Centre Tuesday Youth Club

As existing This site is as a short cut to Manor Park Snooker Club off Church Road. The passageway opens from the Snowshill Road Estate into a broader stretch of paving as it meets Church Road. The site is adjacent to a bus stop and almost directly opposite the Snooker Club. In consultation this site was identified, along with a network of alleyways off East Avenue

where these young women already hang out. It was considered a desirable social space where they would like to hang out but feel excluded from, as it is perceived, due to the presence of the snooker hall, a predominantly male-only setting - “you can’t go there or you’ll get called a ho.” Of all the sites this was the one where ownership was clearly contested and gendered. The site is within the Manor Park master plan and has been identified as part of the land assembly first stages for Landscaping and Security Measures. This stage will be implemented within 3-5 years.

Proposal Because of the future development (the site is soon to be developed and this particular area will be landscaped) this site is not viable for any large-scale permanent capital provision. However it is an opportunity for a participative creative project with the constituent group of young women. A project to analyse the gendered (and cultural) claims of ownership and occupation with these young women and a creative instigator (artist/designer) and to resolve this research in a temporary intervention to ensure their presence and pleasure. The process of brief development with the constituent group will reveal and explore attitudes to gender and public space that are generically relevant and valuable. Because of future development the implemented scheme will have a limited life and can therefore justifiably test speculative and innovative ideas and materials and could attract Arts Council funding, possibly as part of a wider Creative Partnerships remit. If this is a girl’s space what should it look like? Would it be merely the act as signing it as such, e.g. lit pink with neon? Would this signing have the same effect as the Yorkie Bar advert (provoking interest through gender provocation), or would it be more sustainable if the intervention were subtle and clandestine, a ‘girls space’ because it is created with a group of young women, their authorship in its design being their act of appropriation.

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Cost Approx. ÂŁ10,000 - ÂŁ20,000 according to the scope and extent of the workshops.

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Beckton Corridor a.k.a ‘Coke Path’

Beckton

site

10

Location Located between Beckton DLR Station and the Will Thorne Pavilion, this path was once the track of a Coke train. It is now a walking, cycling and bridle path.

Ownership LBN - Official right of way

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As existing Leading from Beckton DLR Station to Stansfeld Road near the Will Thorne Pavilion, and further to DLR Royal Albert Station. This path was once the track of a Coke train supplying the Gas, Light and Coke Company, run by S. A. Beck, after whom Beckton is named. It is now a well-used walking, cycling and bridle path,that connects two residential areas, a superstore, DLR and bus stations with leisure, sports and community facilities. Our consultation demonstrated that it is well used by the general public, and especially by young people. However there are concerns about safety and dissatisfaction with the path’s condition and visual appearance. Shortcuts

City Farm

Royal Albert Station

Will Thorne Pavilion

Beckton Globe

Superstore

Beckton Station

4 3 2

1

1 Railed-off bridle track.

2 Soft surface part of the path.

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3 Asphalted part of the path.

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What do people say? “Make the scary path to the pyramid [Will Thorne Pavilion] nicer.” Mobalaj at Youth Zone youth club at the Beckton Globe.

“We are plagued with youths aged 8 -18 who ride their noisy little quad bikes, motorbikes and even modified scooters round the streets and along footpaths.” Helen McCarthy via email

The ‘Coke Path’ was identified as an open space for young people by a girl at a youth club nearby. It is an important connection between many well-used public facilities and different neighbourhoods, but is also a social and meeting place in its own right. It was criticised for its poor visibility and many hiding spaces. The two parallel paths (one with a hard surfacing, the other a track) connect at many places, adding to the quality of the path as a place to be rather than a place to move through, as a place for discovery and play; but it has many hiding spaces and gives poor surveillance. One other girl at the youth club agreed to Mobalaj’s criticism and suggested to cut back the bushes and to maybe introduce fencing. The ‘pyramid’ [Will Thorne Pavilion], which currently lies derelict, was repeatedly mentioned by young people as an amenity that should be invested in. Persons we met on site complained about the path being covered in dirt and mud from the football pitches. We have also heard complaints related to reckless driving of motorbikes, which seems to happen in the nearby park though rather than on the path itself.

Design objectives We have identified the following design objectives for the ‘Coke Path’:

City Farm.

Football pitch and grazing horses.

Pond next to the path.

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Increase sense of security Make shortcuts between paths more visible and formal Add fencing within the shrubbery and trees to prevent people breaking out from defined path. Replace some of the shrubbery with trees with high canopy to give longer site lines Increase sense of the path as a place to be for different age groups Provide informal seating at appropriate places Make interventions that interpret the past (through creative workshops with the user groups). Enhance visual appearance Add hard surfacing to established shortcuts Upgrade existing materials Introduce metal threshold grid system to keep path free from mud

Drainage in

Grids to lessen

Feature lighting at

Informal seating

New, more spa-

New hard land-

Fencing to some

selected areas.

mud on the path.

selected locations.

for different age

cious planting.

scaping to selected

shrubbery.

groups.

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shortcuts.

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Temporary events.


site

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proposed improvements to the path

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Opportunities and Limits The path is an official right of way that links Beckton Station to the Will Thorne Pavilion in Beckton District Park and is car free. As such it is an important route where improvement would encourage greater use by all members of the community and increase the sense of security for all. Noise from users is a potential disturbance to housing. Police concur with young people’s impression. Community safety units are providing statistics.

Support The proposals for the site are supported by both young people, older people and the police.

Cost Total approx. £300,000 25 No of grid boot cleaning areas: £ 10,000 New surface to 3 existing shortcuts, 15 x 2m, including groundworks and fencing: £ 20,000 Fencing 650m to seperate bridle path and pedestrian path: £ 65,000 Re-planting the strip separating bridle path and pedestrian path: £ 2,000 - £ 2,500 per tree Uplighters close to existing electricity supply: £ 500 - £ 1,000 Special seating: £ 1,000 each

Possible sources of external funding This scheme is suitable for a bid for external funding to TFL as a walking route. Ruth Seager at Forward Planning considers this a suitable scheme to put forward as part of the next BSP (Borough Spending Plan) with refined text and drawings. The scope of this bid would cover surfacing of muddy paths, cutting back planting and other moves to improve a sense of security for pedestrians. This path runs along the route of the old railway that once carried coke to Beckton Gas Works. As a site of a lost industrial history it could form the basis of a bid for external funding from a source which supports projects which uncover and celebrate local history and histories: English Heritage/the Heritage Lottery fund or the countryside agency. A bid could be put together to involve young people learning the history of the site. These bids can be artist led and result in temporary interventions along the path and/or at its entrances. It would also be suitable for a grant from the Railway Lands fund. Funds from crime reduction budgets may be appropriate.

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The end of Winsor Terrace

Beckton

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11

Location Circular open space on a pedestrian route connecting Winsor Terrace to a nearby supermarket and residential area.

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As existing The circular open space has hard surfacing, several benches at its perimeter and three recently planted trees at its centre. The trees replace the ‘Coke train’, a little red train engine that was moved to Stratford Station after it having been set on fire twice. The area is protected from joy-riding by huge concrete blocks placed at all entrances. Despite obvious signs of vandalism, such as the remains of burnt scooters, the route is well used especially by young people.

Winsor Terrace

Gates

Former train location

Royal Docks Road

Former train location with end of Winsor Terrace in the back.

Entrance to the path leading to the former train location.

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What do people say? “Maybe a sculpture, like the old train.” Genson at Youth Zone youth club at the Beckton Globe about how he thinks places in the area could be improved.

“Straight, then left when you hit the main road, keep going ‘til you pass the restaurant, then right, go straight to the big gates, and this is where it is.” Instructions for finding this “non-space”, revealing its importance as a destination for young people, Emily, 14 years.

Young people at the Youth Zone youth club at the Beckton Globe* perceived Winsor Estate as lacking in provision and suggested seating or shelter. One imagined seating to be arranged around a sculpture, and referred to the red train engine that had recently been moved to Stratford. People in Beckton remember the train and have no difficulty in describing its exact former location. In an area in which supermarkets and restaurants serve as landmarks, this orientation guide acts as a reminder of the area’s industrial history, as much as a phantasmic narrative. Again, this place is part of a route, but it is also a destination. People meet here and although older people have voiced some reservations about the condition of the perceived threat of some young people, it has, despite its apocalyptic appearance not yet become a no-go area. Conversations with 20 young people (13 boys and 7 girls, aged between 16 and 19).

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site

11

Proposal This site is considered as an amenity, a place to be and in need of a landmark (“it should have a sculpture�). The site is proposed as a place of formal and informal performance and a temporary art commission. Its location is suitable for this use, close enough to housing to have a degree of informal surveillance and far enough away for noise not to be problematic. Refer to Stage & Screen and Art in the design principles.

proposd stage by day

proposd stage by night

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site

11

Design objectives Creating a new landmark The existing paving ‘curls up’ to form a stage of polished concrete (possibly decorative). One or two powerful spotlights on fixed lighting columns with sensors to switch them on only when people enter the stage Seating enhanced to adapt to the new ‘theatre’ situation Increase sense of place to be for different age groups Informal seating is provided at appropriate places Make space and opportunities to evolve and understand the past. This permanent structure could be combined with an artist and historian led project. Enhance visual appearance Paving materials upgraded in some areas. Massive concrete blocks on all entrances replaced with a less bleak solution to joy riding.

Concrete blocks to

Paving to be made

Raised stage

New spotlight on

New spotlight on

be replaced

good or to be

6m diameter

new mast

new mast

replaced

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site

11

The case for the end of Winsor Terrace Local need The path links spaces used by young people and is car free. As such it is an important route for young people where improvement would encourage greater use by all members of the community and increase the sense of security for all. Support The proposals for the site is supported by both young and old Opportunities for external funding Possibility of Forward Planning LBN being interested in the scheme forming a bid as part of the next BSP. Information drawings and text are needed by April. In turn a separate art/history project could be conceived and bid for from the Arts Council by an artist supported by LBN. It is also possibly suitable for grant funding from an organisation such as RCLI (Rail Link Countryside Initiative).

Costs Total £45,000 Taking up existing setts, groundwork to construct stage, re-placing setts, stage finish of polished concrete, one lighting pole: £ 10,000-£12,500 Extra lighting pole: £ 2,000 Re-paving the area currently made up of concrete pavers with granite setts, new kerbs: £ 20,000 Extra benches: £1,000 each

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Greenway

West Ham

site

12

Location The section of the Greenway (Northern Outfall sewer) as it crosses railway lines between Manor Road and Upper Road.

Ownership Thames Water and LBN

Identified by A young man at a consultation session at First step, the Youth Forum and a NDC project manager.

As existing This bridge over railway lines is painted with elaborate graffiti, the result of organised graffiti workshops, it remains un-vandalised. It is one of those examples of a route simultaneously being a destination.

It borders Memorial Recreation Ground, which at present lacks amenities other than laid rugby pitches and rugby club, but there are plans for a playground, an all weather pitch, a resource centre with cafĂŠ and possible youth facilities in the park. It is close to the Hamilton Road centre and Eastlea school. At present few events take place in Memorial Recreation Ground.

Proposal West Ham and Plaistow NDC have commissioned a scheme and established funding for the area adjacent to the bridge which is currently in planning. Once the described scheme is completed this site will have the potential to host sporting and arts events. As a route and a destination it is a suitable site to attract young people. The scheme consists of ramped walking and cycling access over the Greenway incorporated into a landscaped setting. It will act as an informal amphitheatre to the park, south facing with seating and planting. It will make it a much more attractive location for events as the scheme includes CCTV and lighting. Cost ÂŁ700,000 funding allocated.

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Open spaces on the highway site 13

Dundee Road/Green Street Plaistow

site 14

Barking Road / Funeral Parlour Green Street

site 15

Barking Road / Mafeking Avenue Green Street

site 16

Barking Road / St Martins Avenue Green Street

site 17

Barking Road / Beckton Road Custom House / Canning Town

sites 18-20 Bowman Avenue corners Custom House / Canning Town site 18 Monk Drive site 19 Bowman Avenue Corners site 20 Tarling Road

site 21

Rogers Road / Ruscoe Road Custom House / Canning Town

site 22

Walton Road / Jack Cornwell Street Manor Park

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Dundee Road/Green Street

Plaistow

site

13

Ownership LBN Housing

Identified by Community Forum and young men during walkabout

As existing This is an overspill car park for the adjacent housing. It appears to not be used for car parking. On two occasions it was empty. It is used by residents to access the garages. It is edged by brick flank walls.

site as existing

Proposal A basketball court that can be used for parking at night or a car park that can be used for basketball after school. In some respects this is one of the least practical of all proposals. How would it be policed unless there were metered parking spaces? In the current climate all sites are seen as development opportunities and yet car parks are inherently fallow ground. This proposal intensifies use. If a controlled parking zone is introduced in the area (as is likely) it will not reach here in its first phase. At proposed layout present the car park is little used but this proposal accommodates the possibility of an increase in use in the future. Fencing is put in place to ensure that balls are not thrown or kicked against the housing and also creates a surface for climbing plants. The pitch is set out in paint onto the existing asphalt. The existing walls are built up and extended with fencing that, again, can support planting with a corner bench for spectators. Floodlighting is set on the outer corners.

Cost ÂŁ50,000

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site

13

Proposal in use as a car park.

Proposal in use as play area.

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Barking Road / Funeral Parlour

Green Street

site

14

Location On Barking Road close to Creighton Avenue Ownership LBN Highways

Identified by Community Fora

As existing This was the smallest site identified. It is next door to a coop funeral parlour and behind a bus stop. It consists of a 20 m2 strip of grass with a two meter fence and above that an advertising hoarding. The proximity to the funeral parlour does not seem to make it suitable as a youth space but extremely suitable for a cared for social space on the street.

site as existing.

Proposal Create a place to linger on the street as a backdrop and extension of the bus stop. Replace the existing grass with a strip of decorative hard surface for example black and white tiles evoking the thresholds of early C20 shops and houses. It is unlikely that there are services under the grassed area so a decorative surface in a location such as this is less likely to be dug up. Plant and train roses to grow up to the base of the bill board above.

Maintenance Either negotiate maintenance of the planting from LBN or enter into a negotiation with the Co-op to maintain planting.

site as proposed

Costs ÂŁ8,000 - ÂŁ20,000 depending on complexity

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Barking Road / Mafeking Avenue

Green Street

site

15

Ownership Privately owned, ownership unknown

Identified by Community Forum

As existing This is a fenced in privately owned corner site. It is bordered by a pub and the gable end of a terrace of houses.

site as existing

Proposal As a corner site with an adjacent pub this is in many ways a suitable site. But given that it is privately owned it is not suitable for either a temporary or permanent scheme.

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Barking Road / St Martins Avenue

Green Street

site

16

Ownership Privately owned

Identified by The Community Forum

As existing This site is in private ownership and the owner has development plans. Since the site was identified, ad hoc use as a car wash has commenced. It is unlikely that any organisation would take on the temporary leasing of the site as an open space due to Health and Safety issues.

site as existing

Proposal Garages such as this are increasingly on the market as petrol is increasingly being purchased from supermarkets. It would be feasible to buy the roof as they are demountable and would make an ideal addition to a muga (see feasibility study for Oxford Garden on page 75) to create an all-weather sports/social space. We attempted (unsuccessfully) to contact the owner to see if they were open to offers.

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Barking Road / Beckton Road

site

17

Custom House / Canning Town Ownership LBN Highways

Identified by Youth Forum confirmed by observation and discussion with young people on site.

As existing The site is a small south facing paved area with a single bench enclosed by grass banks. It is located alongside shops opposite a McDonalds on Barking Road and is a successful meeting place for young people and others.

site as existing.

Proposal Installation of a lightweight roof with integrated lighting and landscaping of the grass banks (as a mini elevated forest ). The roof to be constructed in a coloured transparent polyurethane cladding to cast reflected coloured light onto the ground, creating daytime feature lighting. It should also be solar panelled to provide light and heat. There should be space for posters, a good way to build community. The proposals are an alternative to the somewhat grudging dimensions of the proprietary youth shelter and its exclusive use. The roof could act as a sign and as shelter and shade. Equally, if no funding is available, the site is potentially a pilot project for redefining public realm status, with the single addition of a sign stating “Young People are Welcome to Gather Here”. The bench could be designated the same status as a youth shelter. People to consult with: Shop owners: Which shops lays in the immediate area? What do they offer? What could they offer? Youth at site. Young people have expressed special interest in having a place to hang out in close to shops. This site could potentially serve as a meeting place during evenings.

Cost Roof and landscaping £60,000 Sign only £1,000 Open spaces that are not parks (with an emphasis on youth) muf architecture/art April 2004

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site

17

proposal by day

proposal by night

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Bowman Avenue corners

sites

18-20

Custom House / Canning Town This feasibility study combines a number of sites that were identified separately namely Tarling Road, Bowman Road corners and Monk Drive. They should be considered in relation to the treatment proposed for Ruscoe Road which is also in Custom House / Canning Town but is just out of this immediate area.

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sites

18-20

The Community Forum identified a collection of small areas of open space, some of these were as small as 9m2 but together they represent an area the size of a small park. We have grouped them together to demonstrate how they could combine as a series of small and intensely cultivated mini open spaces. They are positioned on corners and in a strip of three rectangular strips on Tarling Road. Each area is simply grassed - again, reflecting the minimal levels of revenue available for the maintenance of open space managed by the Housing Department. Some have a single tree or are crossed by a path. There is an active group of residents that came together to lobby for adventurous play space for young people in KierHardie Park: they were unsuccessful. The park is currently closed whilst sports provision is installed, this closure has reanimated interest in these small spaces.

Tarling Road

Bowman Avenue Corners

Monk Drive/Appleby Street

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site

18-20

What do people say? “This area was built as a utopia after the war with houses and gardens and allotments. They didn't get looked after. They’ve been incorporated into the gardens and car parks. There are still some bits of green left over. Maybe they could be used by the kids. They could have sun flowers and strawberries. Vegetable patches for growing things. Little gardens. Growing vegetables. We used to like doing that, things can’t have changed that much. I think they would like that.” “Kids get left with nothing, I’ve been here for 30 years. In all that time kids have never had a thing. Freemasons is too far for mums and young children.” “The young ones get pushed off the basketball court in Birk Street.When the kids come home from school there is nothing left for them to do. There’re just cooped up.” “They think everything is alright here because the houses look nice with their gardens. But we’ve got the BNP coming back.”

proposed extent of treatment

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sites

18-20

Design objectives We have identified the following objectives: -

To utilise these mini open spaces to provide the amenities that residents feel are missing. To enhance visual appearance. To make proposals that are appropriate to the scale of the sites. To ensure that any scheme is sustainable.

Detailed design The Bowman Avenue, Tarling Road mini open spaces have a huge potential to be a community generated Home Zone, to create pockets of social space on the street. In order for any scheme to be successful the community would need to be involved to achieve informal surveillance - protected investment. The scale and number of these small patches of open space within an entirely residential

examples of social spaces within a Home Zone

area makes it appear suitable for it becoming a Home Zone with the attributes of a below 20 mile per hour speed limit and social spaces on the street but also the potential for applying for external funding to implement it. Consultation mentioned that the allotments that had stood here had fallen into disrepair. Like some of the other projects in this report it would be very interesting to invest a small amount to test the viability of small scale improvements over this summer. The site with fencing could host a teddy bears picnic with SureStart, another triangle could host a sunflower growing contest. These small events could be initiated this summer. These sites have one of the strongest tenants associations (St Luke's Tenants Association) that we encountered during the consultation period. In 2003 they lost the shop unit that they had as a base in Tarling Road which ended their regular activities with young people. Vera Cohen and the St Luke's Tenants Association was the first community group to get Lottery Funding and were involved in the successful SRB funding.bid. As such they are an organisation who could be a conduit for attracting external funding. If improvements were part of a permanent scheme they could be thought of as a patchwork of different social spaces on the street to reflect the different ages and interests of the residents. These could include seating, flower and herb gardens, and play spaces - e.g. a single hillock with a slide linked by a restrained palate of hard landscaping.

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sites

18-20

Opportunities and limits The area has an even spread of small overlooked patches of ground. There is an active and committed residents association with a history of successful fundraising. It would be ideal for a Home Zone Type scheme. There are a number of different sources of external funding for projects which can prove community involvement. Although a number of residents have exercised their right to buy there is a stable community with a large population of children and young people. The Kier Hardie Park which is still closed but due to be open by the end of May will (with sporting facilities) will compliment smaller scale improvements here.

Possible sources of external funding See Funding section in the report (Part1, page 21). It would be eligible for many of the funding sources listed here. Forward planning are interested in putting this project forward for funding as a Home Zone as part of the LBN BSP (Borough Spending Plan).

Costs A Home Zone of this scale would be in the region of ÂŁ500,000 Temporary improvements would be in the region of ÂŁ10,000

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sites

18-20

The case for Bowman Corners Local need At present the need is acute as the local Kier Hardie Park is closed (children are letting off fire hydrants). Even when the park opens it will be with a single emphasis on team sports. The St Luke's Tenants Association was an active presence in the area until it lost its premises. For it to survive and prosper it needs another focus: for example these open spaces. Support Local residents and the Community Forum representative.

Opportunities for external funding The presence of a strong group of tenants increases the number of sources of funding. There is the potential of external funding as part of the LBN BSP.

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Rogers Road/Ruscoe Road

site

21

Custom House / Canning Town Ownership LBN Housing

As existing This site should be considered in conjunction with sites 18-20. It is a few streets away and as such could be incorporated into a Home Zone with those sites but this would depend on analysis with Highways as what would the most feasible configuration of streets. If it isn’t part of a package the improvement of this corner site would create a social space on the street. As with sites 18-20 there is a strong residents’ associatioon who could make applications for fundings. Like the sites 18-20 there had once been allotments within the area which were then incorporated into gardens.

Proposal

The scheme maximises the existing attributes of this small site: namely the mature tree, the corner site and the raised level of the existing soft landscape. We propose to create an informal area of seating as a curved corner around the tree and reinstate low walls, the finish painted stucco or stone with a ceramic or timber top. Planting could depend on the enthusiasm and scale of community involvement. Like the Bowman Avenue, Monk Drive and Tarling Road sites planting might reflect the lost allotments which once stood here, the planting whether flowers or herbs being laid out in rows..

Costs In the region of £10,000

Rogers Road as proposed

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Walton Road / Jack Cornwell Street

Manor Park

site

22

Ownership LBN Housing

Identified by Young people at Youth club

Existing/proposed This site was identified in tandem with the strips of grass which flank the Jack Cornwell Community Centre. These rubble strewn patches of grass were some of the least cared for sites that we encountered. They are within the Little Ilford Masterplan area. A study is currently being completed as yet the plans for these small sites are unknown. It might prove viable for temporary improvements to take place on this site. For further explanations see the proposals for Leather Gardens (sites 1-4, page 4).

Rubble-strewn patches of grass: the least cared for site.

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Open spaces with limited activity

site 23

New City Road Green Street

site 24

Gooseley Playing Fields Beckton

site 25

Plashet Park East Ham

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New City Road

Green Street

site

23

Location Off Barking Road

Ownership LBN Housing

As existing This is 700m2 of undulating grassed land that links New City Road with Haig Road East and Upperton Road East. It is overlooked by low rise housing. There are no amenities on site and because of the sloping ground it is unsuitable for formal sports. As housing land it has low level maintenance and revenue for planting. Residents adjacent, consulted on a possible spend of ÂŁ40,000 on the site were concerned that facilities might encourage young people to use the site, although they supported play equipment for very young children and ornamental fences. These plans were shelved due to

New City Road - as existing

interest by the Housing Department to partially develop the site, although this in turn might lever 106 funding for improved amenities on the site.

Design Objectives Test whether youth use is completely incompatible with other local resident enjoyment through temporary activities and uses in advance of any development. Enhance visual appearance. Maximise ambitions for development plans to realise full potential of the site.

Proposal As with other sites, subject to future development there is an effective blight on any short term capital investment. This is an opportunity to initiate a programme of temporary events during the 2 or 3 summers (and possibly Christmases) in advance of development. These events could include the arts, performance and informal sporting activities. Local children and young people could be involved in a large scale planting project as a mechanism for consultation and if funds allowed, small scale constructions could be built on site e.g. equipment for circuit training or a temporary stage. The project improves amenities in the short term whilst ‘testing’ whether residents are opposed to amenities for youth per se. Opportunities for external funding: Possible 106 funding if partial development of the site for housing goes ahead. Funding for events might be sourced from Culture and Communities. iIn addition, if residents are involved a large number of small grants could be applied for.

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site

23

Priorities Given the lack of open spaces in the area there is an argument for involving local people in proposals for a greater intensity of use on the site.

Costs Temporary Events and transformations: £5,000 - £20,000 Permanent Community Garden on the site: £150,000 - £300,000

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Gooseley Playing Fields

Beckton

site

24

Ownership LBN Culture and Communities

Identified by Community Forum

As existing Young people do not perceive this as ‘an open space’. “It’s just for playing football!” This is a large recreation ground. The area pictured is currently used for football, the ground is often waterlogged. Young people we spoke to did not perceive the playing fields as a whole, as a place for meeting, but rather a place merely for sport. It is not perceived as a natural meeting space for young people. LBN carried out a borough wide assessment of their parks. They are currently systematically

Gooseley Playing Fields - as existing.

investing in parks, park by park. Gooseleys Playing Fields are due to be improved in 2006. Culture and Communities envisaged that there should be a shift in the character of the park and the playing field should become more park-like and have amenities that attract all of the community. Residents will be invited to become involved in discussing the direction of the playing fields. Like sites 1-4 there could be great advantages in enacting temporary and immediate improvements to test ideas and provoke discussion as an alternative to the ubiquitous questionnaire and the ‘fun’ day.

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Plashet Park

East Ham

site

25

What do people say? There nowhere dry to sit and chat, it needs a little roofed area.” Local School girls

“Its where they go to have their fights” Local teacher

As existing Plashet Park has suffered from incremental loss of amenities, most particularly the small zoo. It is in fact the focus of a number of improvements including new mugas and sports pitches.This site was identified by young people who said that they believed it needed social facilities and who mourned the loss of the zoo They were unaware of the investment in the park.

Plashet Park - as existing.

Proposal Given the level of investment in the park it is unlikely that there is scope for further spending on this site. This is a suitable site for.a mobile cafe to visit. The wish list for Plashet Park was very modest - a small roofed area for seating. Perhaps there is mileage in inserting the seating module into the new mugas at a cost of under £6,000. It is feasible as it would replace only a single module of fencing.

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Existing centre attractive to young people

site 26

Green Street Green Street

site 28

Jenkins Lane Beckton

site 25

Plashet Park East Ham

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Green Street

Green Street

site

26

Ownership LB Newham

What do people say? “I like it as it is� young man as seen in picture below

As existing This site has been included as an example of a successful public space that is enjoyed by young people and adults alike. Its success lies with an evident investment, the provision of seating, the generosity of the widened pavement. It is well maintained, there are no signs of opportunistic vandalism. This is probably due to the informal surveillance offered by the adjacent shops and restaurants. Green Street is seen as both a popular meeting space with young people but also a place that their parents are happy for them to spend time in due to adult presence.

Green Street - as existing.

Design objectives Increase potential for use for social space. Enhance visual appearance. Sustain the success of the site. Build on the success of the site by making other meeting spaces in Green Street.

Proposal There is nothing more depressing than an invested in public space that has fallen derelict. It is imperative that the area is cared for. It is currently in good repair although some of the floor lights are broken. Consultation identified as another meeting space the area in front of the Tube station on Green Street. We were unable to establish with London Underground whether they have existing plans for that site.

Opportunities for external funding There might be some mileage in approaching London Underground.

Local need Green Street is an important local centre. It is important for young people as it is one of the few public spaces where young people are tolerated and considered safe.

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Stratford Circus

Stratford

site

27

Ownership LBN Highways

As existing This is a ‘showcase’ project for Newham. It is the public space flanking the entrances to the cinema, Stratford Circus and the Theatre Royal Stratford. It has had substantial funding and was a collaborative project between Pink Fink (Artist) and David Oelman at the LBN Environment department. It comprises granite paving laid out in stripes, an arc in stainless steel, seating and lighting. It has had mixed reactions from residents. Some consider it to be too exposed and regret the lack of planting. Yet the young people we spoke to were all enthusiastic about it as a space. Some had suggestions for improvements (a little cabin with board games) but all recognised and approved of the high specification, maintenance and safety. The sense of security is provided in a great part by the cinema cashiers who survey the space through the cinemas’ glazed façade. The young people we spoke to came from Stratford, East Ham and Canning Town, demonstrating that some spaces are not dominated by a small and territorial group.

Stratford Circus - as existing.

It was described as a space used by couples - although on the days we observed the space there were mixed groups and two groups of young women. This a good site to find young people for ad hoc consultation.

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Jenkins Lane

Beckton

site

28

Location A strip of land forming the fourth side of a parking lot framed by a cinema, a bowling alley and a row of fast food restaurants.

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site

28

Location A strip of land forming the fourth side of a parking lot framed by a cinema, a bowling alley and a row of fast food restaurants.

As existing The site is hidden behind a hoarding which runs along the pavement at the bus stop. The Showcase cinema is opposite separated by a large parking lot. The cinema accommodates visitors travelling by car from Newham and beyond, but young people living locally visit on foot or by public transport. Arrival by bus feels disadvantaged, as the bus stop is tucked in a narrow walkway on Jenkins Lane and the pedestrian is isolated in an area that does not accommodate non-directional pedestrian movement. However, the site is council property, and is pleasantly vacant in the face of the agglomeration of spaces or consumption. The cinema and bowling alley have foyers with arcade machines and seating associated with snack bars.

Gooseleys Playing Fields

Superstores

East Ham and Barking By Pass

site

Showcase cinema

3 2 1

1 Arcade games area.

2 Showcase cinema.

Open spaces that are not parks (with an emphasis on youth) muf architecture/art April 2004

3 Cinema parking lot.

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site

28

What do people say? “You just go there because there’s nowhere else to go” Boy at the youth parliament.

“I come here ... maybe once a month. Before the movie, there is nothing to do” Boy in the cinema

“On arrival in Beckton at 6 pm, ASDA was buzzing. But on my way to the showcase cinema, the bus was emptying at bus stops named after the respective superstores.The Showcase bus stop seemed forlorn and tucked away besides a strip of land which has been used for disposing corpses. Crossing a car park along a bowling alley, one approaches the cinema the scale of which communicates to cars not pedestrians, and there are few but windy smoking niches the façade offers. Inside, there is spare seating associated with a bar and an arcade cave tucked away to one side, in which I found some youths pretending to play games. They were from Gainsborough School and on a Making Tracks youth club evening out. They come to the cinema once a month and had noticed the lack of space for them. Adults complain that some young people use the cinema auditorium itself as a social spacetalking, using mobile phones etc, another reason to introduce ‘public’ spaces into the complex.”

Boy with arcade game.

By night.

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site

28

Design objectives Make arrival by bus a grand experience in Jenkins Lane -

Widen the pavement. Introduce level access across Jenkins Lane. Increase light levels. Lay out paving as if a red carpet.

Form a fourth fantastical side to the parking lot -

Erect a hoarding with a huge illuminated sign within the visual language of this environment, but one that celebrates nothing but the free spirited of Newham.

Widen the pavement -

Add to the current council-owned pavement area. Provide beautiful shelter and seating.

The design proposal is a combination of traffic calming measures and extending the footway as social space: a new raised table and expanding the existing pedestrian bridge over the existing ditch, enhancing the connection of developments East of Jenkins Lane with the Showcase cinema parking space. The walkways leading to the bus stops are widened, preferably to three meters width in accordance with the Inclusive Streetscene document curently prepared by LBN. Stepped seating provides not only sheltered seating, but a viewing platform to enjoy the illuminated entertainment venues on the one side and the overgrown site opposite. A big sign, possibly made of fluorescent little flags moving and glowing during dusk and the hours after, advertises this space as a meeting point and gathering space for cinema goers of all ages, and promotes pedestrian movement and public transport.

Jenkins Lane proposed layout

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site

28

proposed improvements of pedestrian areas with tribune of timber /steel and a sign.

Costs New raised table, partially bridging the ditch, 200sqm, 70 of which is vehicular area: £ 50,000 Re-paving of pavement, 2 x 2 x 30m = 120 sqm: £ 10,000 Tribune made up of timber and steel, railing, roof: £ 50,000 Sign, 7 x 4 m, with little fluorescent moving parts £ 20,000

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Open spaces adjacent to community centres

site 29

Jack Cornwell Centre Manor Park

site 30

Hathaway Crescent Manor Park

site 31

Beckton Community Centre Beckton

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Jack Cornwell Centre

Manor Park

site

29

As existing An area of grass alongside the Jack Cornwell Community Centre muga. The site is within the Little Ilford master plan the exact details of which will be released in May 2004. Shops with accommodation above will be built on this site . Construction will commence within 12 months if existing facilities are built on there is a commitment to replace them.

Jack Cornwell Centre - as existing.

Proposal Construction is planned for the site within 6 months. If this site is developed and the existing muga is replaced this could be viewed as an opportunity to introduce a muga with integral seating, possibly a roof and also to set it within a landscaped setting. If the muga will be lost due to construction it is advisable to build its replacement in advance of building on the existing one in order that facilities are not lost, and reducing the temptation of using the construction site as a playground. As with many other sites which are subject to development plans, young people were not aware of planned changes. Consultation and the sharing of information has clearly not extended to this group of local residents.

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Hathaway Crescent

Manor Park

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30

Location A triangular site framed by high-rise and other housing adjacent to Hathaway Community Centre. Culture and Communities manage the site. There are no immediate plans for development on the site although a report has been recently commissioned looking at the development potential of all sites.

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site

30

As existing The site is a triangle of grass ringed by roads and overlooked by LBN housing, 8 storey towers, 4 storey blocks and single storey (sheltered) housing. At the Eastern edge is a small playground with play equipment suitable for the under 10s. Next to this there is a small fenced area with a cycle course and a number of timber constructions. The site is large enough for football but there are no markings for sports. There are a small number of trees planted along the perimeter but the site is bleak. Hathaway Community Centre is separated by the width of the grass from the play area. This ‘70s single storey building is approached from the north (see plan). Its western elevation faces the park. It is not on any significant route.

Existing cycle track and playground.

Current location of playground and cycle track

Hathaway Community Centre

view across Hathaway Crescent

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What do people say? “The grass is wet and the cycle track isn’t cool.” Elvi, 8 floor of block overlooking the Green

“There will be a considerable increase in activity especially young people in this centre, so it would be fantastic to be able to make more use of the green.” Helen McCarthy via email

“The Community Centre is really getting going. There is an after schools club, SureStart are interested in basing a crèche there, there is an active management committee and Ground Work Hackney have been running two interlinked projects where unemployed people have been taught decorating skills and have, in the process, redecorated the entire centre, while training has been provided for lone parents to become support staff in local schools.It would be better if there were an actual connection made between the centre and the park. A more ambitious idea is to have a pedestrian bridge going from here to Barrington recreation grounds over the railway lines.” Colin Zeti

Young people we spoke to dismissed the green as boring and not worth going to.

Proposal If the community centre expands its activities there is an opportunity for Hathaway Crescent to become a true community garden for the immediate community that surrounds it. We propose that an absolute connection be made between the Community Centre and the park, installing traffic calming or even road closure so that the Centre can open directly into the park. This would enable surveillance and greater management of the park’s use with the Centre functioning as a resource for both informal and more formal events that require power or equipment. A fenced area could extend from the building to provide the after schools club with an outside space. The play equipment could also be augmented and repositioned as a trail to connect with the Community Centre to make a way into the resources there, while a linear strip of additional activities with intermittent roofed informal seating around the perimeter leaves the centre clear for sports. Groundwork East have successfully worked within the building to combine training with refurbishment. This has the potential to explore longer term projects to involve local people of all ages in the improvement of this site. Play strip Soft surface track with new fence to inner edge and existing play equipment repositioned closer two the community centre. Two roofed seating areas included. Cycle track ramps and obstacles strung out along one route. Road calming or road closure (see options overleaf). New garden opening from building with planting and safety surfaced area for under 4s, a quiet garden and possibly an external stage.

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proposed layout of cycle-/play-/walkway

The introduction of a raised table could make a safer link between the community centre and the park.

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Opportunities and limits Close to an existing Community Centre. Excellent but maybe intimidating supervision from the surrounding housing. Noise, proximity to housing.

Cost Total: £183,000 Demolish existing traffic obstacle and construct new raised table and kerbs: £20,000 700 sqm new pedestrian paving and 1400 sqm of new cycle surface: £ 75,000 Seats, obstacles and play equipment and new areas of soft surfacing: £ 50,000 New gate into park: £3,000 New semi-mature trees: £ 2,000 - £ 2,500 each Garden for Community Centre: £5,000

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Beckton Community Centre

Beckton

site

31

Ownership LBN housing managed by Culture and Communities

What people say This area was mentioned during our Youth Zone youth club consultation as lacking provisions such as seating and shelter.

As existing The Community Centre forms part of a minor civic centre, along with a row of shops and a small patch of green, close to a primary school. The school has sports facilities, which are locked outside school hours. Young people sit on their bikes talking, some play football on the street.

Beckton Community Centre - as existing.

Design objectives Increase potential for use for social space. Enhance visual appearance. Increase awareness of proximity of existing amenities.

Proposal The Community Centre is standard issue, low rised and only clear story to the street for reasons of security. New external facilities should be viewed as a way of expanding the interior spaces and the activities of the Centre. There is currently a borough wide report looking at the development potential of all Community Centres, e.g. Centres might be demolished and then replaced by new buildings with centres on the ground floors and housing above. If such development takes place we recommend that external space should be seen as part of a centre’s schedule of accommodation and as such could include spaces for performance, quiet spaces, early years soft spaces etc. This suggests that the community centre and its external spaces could be seen as elements that would give coherence to an area including the shops. Any proposals should investigate the feasibility of using the school grounds out of hours and this could be augmented by large scale maps to point out the proximity of many existing facilities in local parks.

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Existing sport provision

site 32

Oxford Gardens Stratford

site 33

Barrington Playing Fields Ilford

site 34

Chatsworth Estate Forest Gate

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Oxford Gardens

Stratford

site

32

Location Located on the Oxford Road Estate, the site is a caged area for football, it butts a brick wall with 3 sides fenced. Oxford Road Estate is situated immediately north of Stratford town centre (with shopping centre, theatre, cinema, library) and is only a few minutes walk from Stratford Station. The estate area is defined by Great Eastern Road to the south and the overground rail line to the north. There are currently development plans for the site.

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As existing This caged kick about area meets the mimimal standards of provision. It is large enough for a single 5 aside football game. It is secure and has goal posts but it has no floodlighting, no sheltered seating (ie. there is no acknowledgement here that sport is often a larger social activity). It is positioned alongside garages and within 5-7 metres of residents’ windows. There is an under 5’s play area 20-30 metres away. The estate itself has an uneven level of maintenance. The entrance on the corner of Angel Lane and Great Eastern Road is of a relatively high standard whilst the area around the cage is more neglected and bleak. The ‘cage’ and adjacent garages have been identified as a possible site by LBN Housing and London Quadrant Housing Association. There is a commitment within their plans to retain a youth facility. Given the time span before construction a temporary improvement with some demountable elements is feasible.

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1

View of Oxford Road estate along Great Eastern Road.

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Existing sports provision set between housing and workshop building.

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site

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What do people say? “I would like a bench in the football area. With a roof.� Boy playing in waste container near sports ground.

Oxford Gardens was identified as an open space for young people by John Saunders from Stratford Community Forum. It was identified to be in need of flood lighting. On our visit to the site the streets were full of children (a borough wide schools closure due to Eid). Children were playing in a skip adjacent to the empty cage which stood in marked contrast to the busy proximity of Stratford Circus where young people described how they enjoyed the high quality finishes and the opportunities for seating. The site was identified by the community Forum for floodlighting. Ad hoc discussions on site with young people focused on desires for seating preferably with a roof.

Within the existing cage - looking towards parking area and garages.

Under 5s play area. Visible from cage.

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Initial improvements within caged area. Seating for young people (facing sports ground), flood lighting, wall washing, and feature lighting.

Incremental upgrading within caged area. Added seating for young or old people (facing housing), all weather surface, ‘muga’, and a roof.

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Given the development plans for the site this should be seen as an exemplary project for temporary demountable improvements able to be applied in other situations.

Objectives for Oxford Gardens Increase potential for use for sport and social space Utilise the cages as a focus for training Install floodlighting with care as to position and type to avoid disturbance to residents. Integrate bleecher style seating with roofed area. Discussions with a proprietory manufacturer to create this amenity are under way Install information board to inform about youth activities in the borough. Also consider incremental upgrading: with basket ball nets Upgraded cage with basketball net. changing the tarmac to an all weather surface installing a roof over the entire pitch Within new development for the site the youth facility to be positioned further away from housing. Enhance visual appearance This cage has all the worst connotations of containment. It would be interesting to use subtle lighting to make a connection to the Stratford Circus - e.g. wall washing the back wall with magenta to match the feature lighting on Great Eastern Road. Adding amenity/feature lighting on cage fence will also increase sense of security Increase sense of security Making safer open space; i.e. caged area, adjoining through route in the estate by adding lighting. Adding seating will animate the area in and around the caged area and increase the sense of security within the estate.

Seating box

Flood lighting

Activities

Message and

Feature lighting

All weather surface

A roof

‘Muggers’

information board

Design elements within caged area.

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Detailed design Outline specification - Items: -

-

Seating box at cage perimeter; made from light steel frame with inset timber or rubber coated seat/step. (See plan and section) Flood lights - medium range - vandal resistant/proof (Urbis or similar). Back wall; wall washing (colour magenta). Feature lighting around fence perimeter and onto back wall. 10 no. info. clips. Incremental upgrading: Ground surface: new all weather surface with football and basketball fields outline. 4 no chain link basket ball hoops, mounted on columns and wall. Roof: Timber on steel frame on steel columns.

Alternative seating box. Indicative plan and section b-b of seating box with 4 no rows of seating. Scale 1:200.

Above right: Indicative section a-a through seating box with 3 no rows of seating. Scale 1:200.

Indicative plan of improvements to sports cage. 1:200.

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The case for Oxford Gardens Local need There is a high number of young people on the estate (statistical information pending). Support Residents, the Community Forum, young people, and LBN Housing support youth provision on the site. Opportunities for external funding There is potential for funding from Sports England as part of the Olympics bid for roofing football areas or for basket ball provision. Development of the site will release funds for new facilities possibly on the site of the existing garages.

Costs Temporary improvements that can be transferred to a new site. Floodlighting: £8,000 Seating: £5,000 Information: £500 New facility: Approx. £150,000

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Barrington Playing Fields

Ilford

site

33

Ownership LBN, managed by a local charity

Location Barrington Recreation Ground (240m2) was identified by the Community Forum as underused and in need of flood lighting. It has skateboarding ramps, tennis courts and pitches with three shower cabins, an office and storage area. There are plans for hockey and cricket. Groundwork Hackney recently created a Community Garden on the site, employing and training local - mainly young - people and utilising trees and “hand-me-down” planting from the Chelsea Flower Show.

As existing.

Design objectives Increase potential for use for social space. Enhance visual appearance. Create jobs and training. Involve all generations in the use of a space.

Proposal Continue and expand Groundwork Hackney initiative. Although a simple idea the principle of combining sports provision with a community garden is unusual, as is the principle of combining youth provision with youth employment. Floodlighting for the tennis courts and pitches will increase potential use in winter. Skateboarding is performance: spot lights could light the individual ramps of the skate area.

Cost £10,000 for floodlighting, £5,000 for spotlighting the skate ramps.

Opportunities for external funding: See suggested sources of small grants in funding section (Part1, page 21).

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Chatsworth Estate

Forest Gate

site

34

As existing This site comprises the caged area and the soft landscaping alongside it on the Chatsworth estate. It is part of a larger PFI scheme, which is currently at the pretender stage.

Existing situation and the involvement of young people The site is a caged kick about area and the grass along side it. It is almost uuseable as it has no gate and dogs are let off their lease and foul it as was the grassed area alongside it. Yet of all the sites that were identified this aroused the most passion. It was named by both members of the youth forum and other young people, it has been the subject of articles in ‘Heavy’ magazine and its nomination was supported by adult members of the tenants group. Probably one reason for this is that it is perceived to be under threat as it is a PFI devel-

Caged kick about area.

opment site. When we first consulted the details of plans were not known but there were fears of rumours and we shared the information we had gleaned as part of this study. We attended a tenants meeting where it emerged that open spaces and play facilities are not mandatory for any PFI scheme. The discussions made it clear to the adult and younger tenants of the importance of attending PFI meetings to state their case. Equally we shared our findings with Mode 1, the architects advising on which of the development sites would be most appropriate to build on. It is notable that on this estate the older adults support the retention and improvement of the kick about area for young people. They believe that it is the only safe open space in the area. There is a widespread perception that the nearby Magpie Park is unuseable due to the prevalence of drugs being sold and used. But on being questioned it emerged that incidents were not being reported and so the Park does not figure in the crime statistics. It was interesting that discussion of this area then extended to talk about the smaller areas of grass dotted throughout the estate and the possibility of improving them for sitting and informal under 5’s play. It is considered impossible to invest in a space that will be built on and yet any construction is unlikely to commence for at least 3 years this was the first and most compelling example of sites being blighted by future development.

What do people say? “We’ve heard they’re planning to take it away.” “We just want to get rid of the holes and the dogs getting in but it needs somewhere for the little kids.” “They need somewhere on the estate - its better that they have a space than roaming everywhere!” Open spaces that are not parks (with an emphasis on youth) muf architecture/art April 2004

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“Parents won’t let their children go to Magpie Park, it isn’t safe” Space for play is not a statutory obligation for PFI tenders - although provision for it can be put into the brief as part of negotiations.

Proposal We proposed that the cost of minimal improvements (see below) could be argued as financially justifiable if the benefits for community cohesion are taken into account i.e. It would encourage residents of the benefits of being involved the plans for the estate. It would build up the links that are being established between generations. It would demonstrate to the youth forums that they have a real role to play. It would enable activities to take place on the site. If, as part of the PFI schemes, it were possible to improve lighting and supervised activities in Magpie Park it is possible that perceptions of what open spaces are ‘local’ would change. Minimal improvements: -

-

A gate on the ‘caged‘ kick about area Patching pot holes in hard surface Removing years of dog fouled topsoil of grassed area and replacing with new topsoil Constructing a single hillock with slide and rubber surface below Planting in an ad hoc way with the local youth worker and tenants groups e.g. sunflowers and bulbs 2 pieces of play equipment Painting with basketball markings Seating

If it is deemed that this site could remain an open space for the estate a greater investment could be argued for to be spent incrementally over a longer period.

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about the authors

muf architecture/art

London,Great Britain

muf architecture/art was established in 1994 with the deliberate intent to work in the public realm, at the critical intersection between the social, spatial and economic relationships that coexist in a given situation. muf have been working on several projects in Newham since 2001. Other current projects include: -

A community garden/park in Tilbury that makes space for more than one thing at a time, from dressage arena to a glade of willow within a single undulating landscape.

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A museum pavilion with a faรงade of crushed oyster shells panels that houses a Roman mosaic, St Albans.

-

The choreographed animation of derelict stretch of canal through which an invited audience of residents, speculative developers, regeneration officers, social activists and trades unionists journeyed together on a boat.

For further information on muf's current and past work see www.muf.co.uk. Contact us at studio@muf.co.uk.

Open Spaces that are not Parks  

A Study for the London Borought of Newham comprising consultation, observation, proposals, feasability studies and conclusions