Thursday, 6 January 2011

Open Space and Vauxhall developments

A message from The Oval Partnership:

The Oval Partnership is concerned that there is a real lack of additional open green space for all the proposed developments in Vauxhall. The proposed density of building and population is not balanced by an appropriate supply of green open space. As the proposals for Vauxhall/Nine Elms are still in the development stage, everyone concerned needs to ask their local councillors to press Lambeth to make provision for some proper green space.

The problem and green spaces promised so far: The greenery proposed to date is decorative and aptly called 'parsley' by ecologists. For instance, the linear 'park' in Nine Elms turns out to be no more than front gardens for the new buildings, and the Sainsbury's site's proposed open spaces are small and paved. The Bondway, Vauxhall Cross and Wyvil Road developments are not offering new green open space of any substance at all.

Why we need green open spaces neighbouring onto the new developments: Green open spaces need to be close to the new developments, so that new residents can use them for (for instance) walking the dog, family picnics and sending children put to play football or family cricket. It is London's parks and green spaces that make this such a great city to live in, and without adequate provision of green open space Vauxhall will risk looking like Canary Wharf rather than a place designed for living.
Although Spring Gardens is being invested in, it is in practice too far from the new developments in Vauxhall for any of the activities described above. Spring Gardens will not be the park of choice. It is quite far to walk if you have any encumbrance or not much time. Instead, the park that will be used for family picnics, walking the dog and sending children out to play football, will be the one closest to the Vauxhall developments - Vauxhall Park. The same applies to lunch hours and office workers - of which there will also be a considerable increase in Vauxhall. This means that we are looking at standing room only on sunny weekends and busy lunch hours in the summer in Vauxhall Park.

The overall lack of additional green open space to counterbalance the proposed increase in density of building and population will have a negative impact on the Vauxhall area and its vicinity. The purpose of allowing new development is to produce a general improvement of the area. Without adequate green open space the hoped for improvements will not be forthcoming.

What you can do: Please can you contact your local councillors and ask them to lobby for additional and substantial green open space.

Ghislaine Stewart, Chair, The Oval Partnership