What would you do with a few £100,000s?

The Megabowl development on Streatham High Street is progressing and the developer is committed to contributing £100,000’s of pounds to local facilities including parks. We have been in discussion with Lambeth about this and believe that Hillside Gardens Park and Palace Road Nature Garden should receive the majority of the money available (other parks and open spaces in the Streatham area may also stake a claim). Taking information from our Masterplan, our meeting late last year, feedback from the tennis club and from a walkabout with a Lambeth parks officer, we have fed into a draft management plan that identifies the areas we would like to see the money spent.

Summarised below are the areas identified. All major projects such as new buildings, new play equipment and major work to the sports facilities will subject to consultation with the Friends group and the wider community of park users and local residents. Please to get in touch with any comments or suggestions.

What we expect to get fixed soon…

  • Repairs to wooden slat fencing around dog free area
  • Re-hang gate at the southern entrance to dog free area: current gate swings open with the slope and has inconvenient closing mechanism which means it is often left open
  • Repairs to boundary fence on tennis court number 3: replace with a more rigid mesh

The bigger projects that we’d like to see invested in are…

  1. Improved Boundary Security – new gates and fences to reduce anti social behaviour
  2. Resurface Tennis Court and MUGA Surfaces – consider installing astrosurf one of the MUGAs
  3. Install Floodlighting on some of the tennis courts and MUGAs (subject to consultation)
  4. Installing stronger “ridgid mesh” fencing around the tennis courts
  5. Redevelopment of Park Depot/Toilet Building and Current O’clock Club Building –  The Friends believes that the footprint of these buildings would be suitable for sensitive and appropriate development that would provide; modern facilitates for child care, community use e.g. rental for private parties, storage of garden equipment and modern toilet facilities. There is also the potential for workspace or residential development that could provide a revenue stream that would secure the future maintenance and improvement of the park. There is much to discuss about what could be provided and there would be extensive consultation. At this stage we are looking for the council to commit money to scoping and consultation on what is possible.
  6. Signage – better signage in the park and in surrounding area with the potential for a ‘signage trail’ for both Hillside Gardens Park and Palace Road Nature Garden, which would improve visitor’s ability to locate and access both sites from local transport hubs.
  7. Path and Hardstanding – Repairs programme of path repairs or replacement, with priority to any damaged or sloped areas to minimise accidents and improve accessibility for all.
  8. Upgrading and Repairs to Benches, Bins and Other Furniture – Joint programme of both repairing/repainting existing benches and, where benches are beyond repair, replacement with comparable models. Requirement for additional benches in tennis courts.
  9. Children’s Play Area – Allocation of capital and other funds for new piece(s) of play equipment, including budget for consultation with parents and children on what equipment is required and agreement on designs/location.
  10. Drinking Water Fountain – Strong community support for existing drinking water fountain to be re-commissioned or a newer version installed; potential for shared council-community responsibility for compliance testing.
  11. Mural – Proposals for artistic mural on the one or more of the retaining walls between tennis courts 1 and 2 and the MUGAs.
  12. Extension of Food Growing Area – Area in north-east sector of park is not currently in use due to boundary wall with old housing garages being considered unsafe. Garages are now in the process of being made safe, and this area of the park returned to public access. Subject to consultation with the gardening group, potential for installing new raised beds/planters in this location, with some low fencing, so that more people can grow food within the park.

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