Saturday 10 January 2015

Stand up for King Eddie's Park!

Boating lake at King Edward VII Park 1914 (Park Lane Primary on the hill, Collins Lodge left)

A reader has sent this in as a comment on a previous posting but I think it deserves a 'Guest Blog' of its own. As always comments welcome from both sides:

I cannot believe that Brent Council is entertaining any planning applications on public park land regardless of who the applicant is.

What short memories they have, and no affinity with history. After all, King Edward VII Park it's 26 acres were bought by the council in 1913 for £8,050.00 to compensate the residents of Wembley for the loss of Parkland at Wembley Park which was then being developed as a high class residential garden suburb. It was opened by Queen Alexandra herself in memory of her late husband on 4th July 1914.

This is more relevant now than it was then. The population of Wembley has increased by 20% over the last 10 years and shows no sign of receding. Over the past few years Wembley has experienced building and development of gigantic proportions at unprecedented rate which is set to continue in light of Quintain's ambitious development of Wembley Stadium estate and surrounding areas, building thousands ( approx 4700) of high rise flats with little or minimal consideration to providing green open space. Much of what is provided in terms of gardens or landscaping is not designated for use as a play area where ball games or any form of free active play can be enjoyed, picnics, barbeques, throwing frisbee's or balls, any noise, exercising pets is not allowed and often is strictly prohibited. So any residents wishing to participate in any of the above need to find their nearest open green space i.e King Edward VII Park.

Over the past few years the residents have experienced an enormous loss of green open space removed from the public domain, Wembley Sports and Social grounds to Ark Academy, Copland's Fields to the New Ark Elvin Academy, the latter still remains a mystery to many of us.

How did Brent Council manage to dispose of this land?

How much was paid for it?

Where and when was the public enquiry or consultation held for the residents of Wembley to have their say prior to this happening?

As I for one would have been there to object.

King Eddie's Park as it is affectionately called is a true family park which is well used by the residents of Wembley Central and Preston Park Wards, and the wider community, many of which reside in flats with no access to any communal green space. A current holder of a Green Flag award, as a part of local history should be preserved in its present state

The buildings currently in the Park, i.e. Bowling Pavilion, Collin's Lodge and the main pavilion in the centre should be opened up and remain in the public domain for use by local residents, charities and community based organisations who have seen their funding and buildings completely eradicated under the Councils austerity measures, but whose activities benefit a far greater proportion of the local diverse community, than an niche elitist Independent Fee Paying School which does nothing to enhance the wider community.

I therefore urge all local residents and elected members to reject this planning application for the greater good of the Wembley Community as a whole, and stick to the origins of why it was created in the first place.


Anonymous said...

Very informative article! Thank you guest blogger for enlightening us on the history of King Eddie's park. It is ironic that the park was bought by the then council in 1913 to compensate residents for loss of other parkland. Will the current council compensate residents for carving up their park for non-public niche use? I think not. What a sorry state of affairs. Here's to hoping the planning committee will at the very least defer their decision on this to allow time for much needed answers, if not reject the application all together.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful and informative article. It raises lots of questions especially how is the council making decisions and giving the constituents the opportunity to voice their opinions.

How much money have they made from selling off valuable park spaces. If they continue at the pace they are going and continue to bulldoze planning applications through such as allowing a private independent school into the park, how long will it be before the park is carved up and it no longer exits. Where will people be able to go to relax, de-stress. Where will the spaces be for the children.

Britain is being plagued with obesity and the strain on the NHS. This spaces offer the local community the space to exercise, meet others and enjoy the local environment.....

We need to keep our park land for the community. If there is to be any development it should be to improve the park.

The councils current approach is poor and they have no regard for the local community and are too busy concentrating on their own agenda. It has to be remembered that we supposedly live in a democratic society, so our opinions matter and should be listened to valued and acted upon.

It will be nice to see what impact our Councillors will have on this issue. Lets watch this space.

Anonymous said...

thanks for your support