Site for a new children’s playground in the City?

Update: The City Corporation has announced that work will begin on the scheme on 8 July 2024, and will take about 18 months. The news release gives details of traffic and bus diversions.

The City Corporation is in the final stages of consultation on a new square near St Paul’s Cathedral – and councillor John Edwards is asking people to support ideas for a children’s playground.

The new square – which I wrote about earlier – will be in front of the Panorama St Pauls development, due to be occupied by HSBC in late 2026.

Here’s a 360 view of the end of King Edward Street now.

John says: “The new park replacing the south end of King Edward Street between Christchurch Greyfriars Gardens and the ex-BT building has been approved. There is a public consultation on what is to be built in this park. I hope you will join me in requesting adult exercise facilities and a children’s playground. If these facilities are included in this new park they are expected to be popular with weekend family visitors after they have visited the nearby historic sites and museum, something for the kids after their attention span on museums and churches is exhausted”.

There’s the online consultation site, with lots of before and after images, where you can respond to the ideas until September 29. It says:

“The closure of the Newgate Street slip road and the southern part of King Edward Street to all vehicles will enable the creation of pedestrianised public space over 3,000sqm in size. Various types and styles of seating are proposed across the new space so that people can relax and spend time there. New trees will be planted. Trees and soft landscaping will be durable to the changing climate. Sustainable urban systems will mean that rain drains into sewers more slowly.

“The new space has been designed so that some of the seating can be temporarily moved to create space for occasional public events such community activities, markets or entertainment. The landscaped gardens of Christ Church Greyfriars show the footprint of the former historic building and these will be enhanced and integrated into the design of the public space. We have salvaged a substantial number of large granite blocks from the Thames Tideway works on Victoria Embankment and these have been incorporated into the overall design as a playable landscape feature and informal seating.

“We are also considering the introduction of features that might encourage creative play for children as well as a space for exercise equipment or organised outdoor exercise classes. The visuals below give an overview of how different areas of the new space have been designed and some examples of play and fitness equipment that could be installed”.

The Corporation has provided some additional information on-site.

… and here’s some informative articles about Christchurch Greyfriars.

As well as the online consultation, there are drop-in opportunities:

  • September 14 at St Bartholomew’s Hospital (EC1A 7BE) 11.30am-1.30pm
  • September 20 at St Botolph-without-Aldersgate Church (EC1A 4EU) 11.30am-1.30pm and 4.30-6.30pm
  • September 27 at St Botolph-without-Aldersgate Church (EC1A 4EU)  11.30am-1.30pm and 4.30-6.30pm

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