Haggerston Park

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Coordinates: 51°31′59″N 0°4′3″W / 51.53306°N 0.06750°W / 51.53306; -0.06750

Haggerston Park looking west from the nature reserve. (October 2005)

Haggerston Park is an open space in Haggerston, in the London Borough of Hackney. It is bounded by Whiston Road (to the north), Hackney Road (south) and St Saviour's Priory, Queensbridge Road (west) and Goldsmith's Row (east). In recent years Hackney Council has used it as a land bank, appropriating almost 25% of the public space for educational use.

The park was originally created in the 1950s and extended in the 1980s. It was carved out of an area of derelict housing, a tile manufacturer, and the old Shoreditch gasworks, which had been hit by a V-2 rocket in 1944 and badly damaged.[1] Today, it occupies 6 hectares (15 acres)[2]

Haggerston Park contains a small but luxuriant nature reserve and a number of football pitches. The park, one of the few formal landscaped gardens in Hackney, was laid out in 1956. Also dating from the 1950s is a long pergola walk on the north side of the park. In the 1980s the park was extended to the south to include a Hackney City Farm, on the site of a former brewery, a children's playground and playing fields.

At first, Hackney Council buildings attracted little opposition - most locals approved of a new SureStart building on the West side of the park. But in 2007 the Council built a temporary school in parkland known as the Audrey Street Depot. A planning application was prepared and submitted, including a Section 106 commitment to return it to parkland a year later. The planning sub-committee approved the application but then the application was withdrawn and the Section 106 was therefore never enforced. For the following 7 years the council claimed it did not have the funds to make good on the return to parkland,and then in February 2016 it announced it was building a much larger Academy school in the same spot.

On 29 July 1992, Michael Jackson landed at Haggerston Park in a helicopter with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse where he visited the children at the nearby then children's hospital Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children.[3] The hospital has since been redeveloped into luxury flats with no social housing element, throwing further pressure on the park.

Haggerston Park received a Green Flag award in July 2008.[4]

It is within a Conservation Area and part of the park, including the Audrey St depot is listed as a SINC Site of Interest for Nature Conservation.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hackney Council, Haggerston History Leaflet
  2. ^ Haggerston Park (Green Flag Awards) accessed 19 September 2009
  3. ^ "Michael Jackson visits hospital with Mickey Mouse"
  4. ^ Hackney Today 188 21 July 2008

External links[edit]