Proposals to transform a vacant plant nursery adjoining West Ham Park, which would create additional parkland and facilities as well as providing new homes, have taken a step forward.
The plant nursery at West Ham Park closed in 2016 and the glasshouses have been unused for nearly five years. West Ham Park, a charity of which the City of London Corporation is the trustee, is now exploring the option of redeveloping this brownfield site.
It would be a requirement of any redevelopment that 50% of the site would be reserved for a combination of operational buildings, new parkland and recreational facilities, such as a community café and changing rooms, which should be of great benefit to park users.
The housing element of the scheme would provide a vital funding source for the future management and maintenance of the park. It is the most viable form of development to generate an income for the charity while it would also meet the need for additional homes in accordance with the objectives of the National Planning Policy Framework.
The proposals have taken a step forward as the City of London Corporation’s West Ham Park Committee has approved plans to begin marketing the site over the summer and invite developers to submit bids for further consideration.
As one of the largest green spaces in Newham, and with over 1.2 million visits a year, West Ham Park provides a vital green space for local people.
Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s West Ham Park Committee, Oliver Sells QC, said: “We are very pleased to be moving forward with this project which will be of great benefit to park users. This is an opportunity to make effective use of previously developed land and we are excited to move onto this next step. We will keep residents and park users fully informed as we progress with this long-term project.”
West Ham Park is a charitable trust that runs at no cost to the communities that it serves and is funded principally by the City of London Corporation, together with grants, trading income, donations, and sponsorship.
The City of London Corporation protects 11,000 acres of green space in London and south east England – including Epping Forest and Burnham Beeches – and over 200 smaller ones in the Square Mile, investing more than £40m a year.
These sites, most of which are charitable trusts, are run at little or no cost to the communities that they serve. They include important wildlife habitats, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, and National Nature Reserves.