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We have made a strong objection to the Royal Parks’ planning application for nine gates around the edge of Primrose Hill Park in Camden, London; these will restrict people’s access to this important recreational space.
In our objection, we state: ‘Primrose Hill, in the heart of a residential area, is an important open space, much enjoyed by local people and visitors. People need access to open spaces at all times for their health and well-being, and never more so than since the pandemic.
‘The society therefore objects most strongly to the application for nine gates on the perimeter of the park. We understand that it is the Royals Parks’ intention that the gates should be locked on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, from March to October, ie during British summer time. We have seen no evidence of need for this, especially as, before 2022, the park had remained open for 24 hours at all times of year.
‘The park is a particularly pleasant spot to visit on summer evenings, with its extensive view over London. There is no justification for depriving people of this experience.
‘Once gates are installed they can be locked at any time, whether during summer nights or on more occasions, with the deplorable exclusion of the public. We do not believe that this risk should be taken, and therefore we oppose the installation of the gates.
Says Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary: ‘This case has sinister similarities to the battles the society has fought over the past 158 years to secure our freedom to enjoy open spaces. We do not want to see history repeated at Primrose Hill.’