The latest round of consultation on plans for Jubilee Gardens was launched this week at the London Television Centre.
The evening was introduced by Ted Inman of the South Bank Employers' Group, who explained that the Jubilee Gardens Steering Group had decided to set aside two elements of the original design brief: neither a cafe nor toilets are now envisaged for the gardens.
Paul Finch, deputy chairman of CABE, chaired the presentation and question and answer session, and introduced Adriaan Geuze of competition winners West 8.
Many new trees will be planted – a mixture of native and ornamental species – to create what Geuze described as "a broccoli on the Thames".
West 8 also hopes to deliver "the best of the Dutch tradition of flower beds", with Geuze looking to the Royal Parks as a benchmark for standards of planting and maintenance.
The children's play area will be themed on Birnam Oak, drawing inspiration from Shakespeare.
Questions from local residents included concerns about skateboarders and graffiti. Whilst the designs were broadly welcomed, there was concern about how the gardens would be maintained. Ted Inman explained that the park will be run by a new Jubilee Gardens Trust which will lease the site from the South Bank Centre, and maintenance will be funded by income from the London Eye's section 106 agreement.
Details of the trust are still being ironed out but it is likely to include equal representation of the big organisations immediately neighbouring the site and local residents' and business groups.
Despite West 8's insistence that Jubilee Gardens should be more than a doormat for the London Eye, Donald Weighton of the Friends of Jubilee Gardens expressed concerns about the flow of pedestrians through the park between Belvedere Road and the London Eye, and between the Golden Jubilee Footbridges and Forum Magnum Square at County Hall.
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