Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Better Barkingside
– Progress Report July 2013

An Update from the architects
Our designs for Barkingside Town Square, the new pocket park at Virginia Gardens, and landscaping around Fullwell Cross Library are developing well, and received planning permission in June, including listed building approval from the Secretary of State.
The proposals include new access ramps and improved planting around the library, a new town square between the library and the leisure centre, and a pocket park on the area of land currently used by the disused swimming pool sun deck. The whole area will be paved with natural stone and the settings of both buildings will be vastly improved. The three mature London Planes are being retained.
The image (above) shows the proposed town square. A key feature of this square will be a new arched loggia, the form of which is inspired by the library roof, to activate the ‘dead’ frontage of the spa building.
Members of the public were concerned about the loss of the commemorative bench near to the library. The project team have consulted with the Rotary Club of Barkingside and have agreed a location for the bench amongst the new trees of Virginia Gardens pocket park.
As part of the ‘Better Barkingside’ project, a whole series of improvements will also be taking place in the wider Barkingside area, concentrated on the High Street. A group of young designers, makers and artists have already started work on a series of ‘frontage’ improvements, from shopfronts to signage and street paving.
Work has already started on the first part of the project and we hope to complete it all by the end of March 2014. We will be working extremely hard to minimise inconvenience and access issues when the works are taking place.
In our project space in Fullwell Cross library there are photographs of great examples of London shopfronts. If you would like to see them or just generally have a discussion about the project, please contact the Town Centre Manager (Cathy MacBride) on 0796 121 2309 (phone or text) or by e-mail.
Better Barkingside is supported by the Mayor’s Outer London Fund and Redbridge Council.
Follow the project on twitter: @betterbside

The plan from above - click on image to enlarge

We need your advice and we’d like to invite you to design the colours of a new flower shop on the high street. We’ll be running a fun drop-in workshop on the 27 July between 2 and 4pm at: The Front Room, Fullwell Cross Library 140 High Street, IG6 2EA
Or if you would rather contribute to the designs right away, head to and vote for the colours you want to see. You can also sign up for news and feedback on the workshop.


  1. love the arches idea,looks good,think the area needs wishes to all who will make it happen,good to see it wont be housing..

  2. The new arched loggia following the design of FX Library looks an excellent idea. What about the front of the swimming baths next to the bus stop? That's an eyesore. Murals?

    1. Yes, Muriels or even Mosaics, were definitely on the agenda for that spot. I will check it's not been forgotten.

    2. Oh, please - not a "Banksie" in Barkingside!

  3. Ah, the dreaded word "young" (architects etc etc etc)..... A request, please for a public urinal (I know we have one inside the Library, during opening hours).... but we were promised one over ten years ago. (Then, the money was promised and provided but seemed to disappear into other Council projects).

    Young town planners and architects go about their business designing and planning, singularly unaware of the bladder needs of human beings as we get older. Shopping trips have to be planned logistically, based on where the public toilets are.

    Please let us have our Cllr. Alan Weinberg Memorial Pissoir, as we have long been promised).

  4. I welcome the scheme as a whole but with one comment. At one of the public planning meetings some weeks ago, someone remarked that the suggested arches,elegant and harmonious during daylight hours, could easily become a junkies paradise at night.
    I'm not sure I agree entirely but it would be interesting to have some input from our contributors.

    1. Yes Alfred. I believe comments to that effect were made by Police Sergeant Hobson. However, the evidence shows that if a place is made attractive to people, and people congregate there, like they do on seaside promenades in the evening, then the ASB and druggies don’t come. They don’t like lots of eyes and prefer dark alleys which are readily available at the rear of the High Street shops. Lighting is also a key issue and there is a CCTV camera directly opposite …

      What we mustn’t do, if groups of youths gather there to chill out with their peers, is to automatically assume they are up to no good.

  5. I totally agree with your last sentence, B21. There are far too many people who assume that groups of youngsters, however well behaved, are automatically up to no good. It just is not the case. Furthermore, not all junkies are teenagers either. Take a look at some of the ageing pop groups - the evidence is there. Young people today are up against far more pressure by financially interested sources and by their peers to take drugs and alcohol than we as kids ever were. It is to their credit that the great majority resist these temptations but it's always the wrongdoers who get the publicity.

    Sorry, readers! This wasn't intended to be a sermon.

  6. Awful idea, money could be put towards a new leisure centre, we don't need a new park we need new leisure facilities

    1. 691 trolleybus fan12:01 pm, October 07, 2013

      Only 3 months late!