Camden News
Publications by New Journal Enterprises
  Home Archive Competition Jobs Tickets Accommodation Dating Contact us
Camden News - by DAN CARIER
Published: 29 January 2009
Waterlow Park children’s area ‘all about cash’

Town Hall accused of funds scramble

PARKS department chiefs have been accused of rushing through plans to build a playground in the heart of Waterlow Park to secure cash.
The Highgate open space, which boasts Grade II-listed features and was landscaped by Victorian philanthropist Sir Sidney Waterlow to provide “a garden for the gardenless”, has been earmarked for a new children’s play area.
But under a central government funding package, the council has to complete the work to build the new swings and roundabouts before the end of March, or risk losing the offer of cash to pay for it.
And as they aim to hit the deadline, parks bos­ses have chosen a patch of land which the Friends of Waterlow Park group say will irrevocably damage views.
Workmen began laying foundations at the site yesterday (Wednesday).
Friends chairwoman Ceridwen Roberts said: “This whole decision has been shaped by Camden wanting to get their hands on this money and needing to do everything before March.”
She said the first time Camden asked park users for their views was in December. There were five different sites discussed but Ms Roberts said the council has ­chosen the least popular.
At the foot of a hill and in full view of much of the park, it is a pop­ular spot for picnickers and frisbee players in the summer months.
Ms Roberts said: “They did not start their consultation process early enough and they did not realise people would react like this. The site chosen is unsuitable.
“The location is a beautiful and leafy green space currently well used and loved by park users.”
A council spokesman said: “The proposal for a new play area in Waterlow Park is one of many planned across the borough after the council received £2.6million from the government to provide 29 new, safe and fun play areas for 8 to 13-year-olds.
“This is great news for parents, children and schools.
“Waterlow Park was one of 12 sites chosen for completion in the first year of the programme, based on where the need was greatest.”

Comment on this article.
(You must supply your full name and email address for your comment to be published)







Theatre Music
Arts & Events Attractions