Council unveils Highbury Fields improvement plans and invites local people to have their say
Islington Council has unveiled plans to make Highbury Fields cleaner, greener, and healthier, and is inviting local people to have their say.
Planned improvements to make the park better and more accessible for all include the introduction of a new, modern café building with much-needed toilet facilities, as well as a biodiversity-boosting wildlife garden with an open-air shelter for children to learn more about the natural environment, and improved sports facilities.
One of Islington Council’s key priorities for the coming decade is to create a cleaner, greener, and healthier borough, to help tackle the climate emergency and make the borough a more equal place, where all can enjoy high-quality green spaces for leisure, relaxation and exercise.
So that local people can have their say on the proposals for Highbury Fields, a survey has been launched and can be found on the council’s website. This will remain open until Friday, 11 March 2022.
Cllr Rowena Champion, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said: “We know how important Islington’s parks and green spaces are for local people, and the Covid-19 pandemic has only emphasised their role in supporting people’s physical and mental health.
“As a small, inner-city borough, Islington does not have a huge amount of green space, which is why we’re investing in maximising the spaces we already have for the enjoyment and wellbeing of our residents.
“The improvements we’re proposing for Highbury Fields will help make the space a more enjoyable, accessible space for all, providing a modern cafe and much-needed toilet facilities, increasing green space and biodiversity, and improving sports facilities. As ever, we’re listening extremely carefully to local people’s views, and look forward to hearing their thoughts on these exciting changes.”
The planned improvements will deliver key benefits for people and the environment by:
- Making the park more people-friendly and accessible for disabled and less mobile people, for example via five unisex public toilets with baby changing facilities, including one wheelchair accessible and one disabled toilet.
- Returning an area of 104m² to green space and rewilding the area of the current park keeper’s lodge, helping to improve overall biodiversity in the park.
- Reducing electricity consumption by approximately 50% by installing more energy efficient lighting at the sports pitches.
- Ensuring the new café building will be as sustainable as possible, using energy efficient technologies and sustainable drainage principles.
- Replacing the 3G pitch and shock pad at the football pitch, and resurfacing the netball/multi-use games area.
In 2018, the council carried out a consultation on Highbury Fields, with local people being asked to choose between five options for replacing the park’s existing, unsafe buildings with either one or two buildings. More than half of the respondents stated they would like one new building and feedback from this consultation has been incorporated into the proposal for the park, including making the new building smaller to prevent potential loss of green space.
The design proposals will be on display at Central Library every day, except Wednesdays, until Friday, 11 March. Online engagement events will also be held at 7pm on Monday, 28 February and Wednesday, 2 March. More information on these events can be found on the council’s website.
Media contact information
If you are a member of the media and would like more information please contact:
Islington Council media team – email@example.com or 020 7527 2307. Out of hours: 07769 163303
If you are a member of the public with a general question about the council please contact:
Access Islington – www.islington.gov.uk/contact-us or 020 7527 2000