Battle by Spitalfields neighbourhood planning forum to stop developers grabbing last bits of green space

PUBLISHED: 22:57 25 April 2018 | UPDATED: 09:55 26 April 2018

Battle to save green spaces... Spitalfields Neighbourhood Planning Forum. Picture: Jeremy Freedman

Battle to save green spaces... Spitalfields Neighbourhood Planning Forum. Picture: Jeremy Freedman

Jeremy Freedman

Neighbourhood activists are campaigning to protect the last bits of green space left in Spitalfields to stop encroaching developers getting their hands on them.

The move to get little parks like Allen Gardens listed as protected public greens was launched at last night’s annual Spitalfields Neighbourhood Planning Forum’s meeting.

The forum has just completed a public consultation on its proposed Neighbourhood Plan to go to Tower Hamlets Council later this year—with green space top of the ‘to do’ list.

“Developers are always trying to grab our open spaces,” the forum’s re-elected ‘headborough’ David Donoghue told the East London Advertiser.

“We have to make sure they’re protected against attempts to build up to the edges.

“Alan Gardens is neglected, strewn with bottles and food litter from Brick Lane and even drug syringes. It’s plagued by anti-social activity.”

This black picture emerged from the survey in which 1,000 residents and neighbourhood businesses took part.

Tower Hamlets Council has started its own consultations about Allen Gardens. Suggestions emerging include handing it to the adjoining Spitalfields city farm to manage it. The neighbourhood forum is looking into the idea.

The forum also worries about “encroachment” from the huge Old Truman venue with delivery vans “causing chaos” in the narrow streets during big events. Car owners living nearby complain of getting “locked in”.

The packed meeting at Hanbury Hall heard about lack of public seating in Brick Lane where revellers buying street food sit on people’s doorsteps to eat and dump their litter.

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