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The London Borough of Hackney is recommending that its Planning Sub-Committee approve the council’s plans to relax the conditions for parking on Hackney’s North Marsh. The committee meets next Wednesday (27 July).
We objected in 2014 to an application from the council to build a pavilion and associated car park here, on registered common land, but the development was granted planning permission and consent by the Planning Inspectorate for works on common land. Now Hackney wants to increase the parking provision from 58 to 68 vehicles.
The North Marsh is an important area for quiet recreation, much enjoyed by the public. The expansion of parking capacity will lead to an increase in vehicular traffic, disrupting people’s enjoyment and putting everyone at greater risk from accidents (children in particular) and from pollution.
We consider this to be an abuse of common land, and contrary to the ethos of the consent which was granted to the borough by the Planning Inspectorate for works on common land last year.
Hackney should be aiming to reduce car travel not encourage it. The council admits that it will require further consent under the Commons Act 2006 to allow additional parking on common land. We shall oppose such an application. We have backed our member, the Hackney Marshes Users Group, and urged the planning committee to refuse to allow an expansion in the number of parking spaces here.
Update: on 27 July the planning committee approved that application, but this was conditional on there being an effective travel plan for the whole marshes. The Hackney Marshes Users Group has been calling for such a plan since 2013. We believe this will be beneficial to the marshes and are pleased that it is now to be introduced.