London is to get its own New York-style high line park after a developer’s plans were signed off by the Mayor.
The elevated park – which is being billed as one of the biggest new parks in the centre of the capital – will be built on top of restored railway arches in Shoreditch, east London.
A series of connected gardens, terraces and walkways will form a six acre space, with trees and planters adding to the greenery.
It won’t however be as long as New York’s much admired equivalent which stretches for 1.45 miles through Manhattan’s west side and was opened in 2009.
The development – known as Bishopsgate Goodsyard – will be built on land that has been left derelict since the 1960s and will also feature 500 homes. The land was acquired from Network Rail in 2002 but plans to build on it have never been able to get off the ground.
The proposals have proven controversial in the past with locals objecting to the size of the proposed tower blocks set to be built as part of the project.
Hackney Council objected to the plans because of fears it would be ‘overbearing’ on the surrounding area.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, had the ultimate say and he signed off on planning permission last week. He said he felt the ‘benefits of this development outweigh the negative aspects.’
Reacting to the decision, Robin Dobson, of Hammerson, who are partly behind the plans alongside Ballymore, said: ‘The Mayor’s decision is a huge vote of confidence in central London after a challenging year. Our designs make the very most of a highly constrained site and will provide a huge range of benefits.’
But campaign groups reacted with anger at the news, accusing the mayor of ‘destroying London’.
A statement from the Reclaim the Goodsyard group set up to oppose the development said: ‘Sadiq Khan and head of planning Jules Pipe have handed over 10.5 acres of public land to build office blocks and a hotel, achieving just 90 affordable social rented homes.’
They added: ‘It is clear that this Mayor has no concern for the scale of the impact or for the East End and its people and businesses – to the detriment of London as a whole. He has overridden the concerns of our elected councils. Sadiq Khan’s decisions are destroying London.’
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