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Royal Borough of Greenwich Pocket Parks - light case study


Pelton Road Pocket Park lies at the junction of A102 and has been closed to traffic since the 1980’s. In the intervening time a magnificent London Plane tree has grown. Unfortunately, the streetscape below was tarmac and paving slabs; as a major ‘gateway’ into historic Greenwich, it was very underwhelming.   

The new layout centres around the formation of 3 linked drainage swales helping to reduce the stress on the local drainage system and replenish the surrounding ground water. This will both provide water for the existing London Plane tree and eight newly planted trees.

Emphasis has been placed on a clutter free streetscape with improvements for pedestrians & cyclists; bollards for example, provide both signage, wayfinding and prevent vehicular ingress. The street closure on Pelton Road has been extended, creating an area where young kids can learn to scoot and ride bikes. Informal play boulders and hopscotch patterns are part of a ‘play on the way’ theme that link to the two local primary schools and nursery. A large circular tree seat encompasses the existing London Plane Tree to provide many seating opportunities in a position that does not negatively impact on local residents.

Mell Street is the largest of the three parks, situated on a corner between two council housing blocks. The proposal includes an improved streetscape for pedestrians & cyclists and a community garden space, where residents and local people can grow food and be involved in the maintenance of the garden. The garden also features a green roofed tool store which includes a water supply and community notice board. 

A second phase at Mell Street, which can be taken forward after the major construction projects will include a shared pedestrian street feel with increased planting within a line of connected swales on the other side of the street, and space for a market stall. 

Hoskins street has two major constraints: The air quality monitoring station and a medium pressure gas main that runs to the eastern side of the street. Greening proposals could not interfere with these elements. To maximise the benefit of a reduced scheme we developed proposals that extended further, to spread out the greening to include the Old Woolwich Road street closure. 

Similarly, with the other pocket parks the SUDS proposals centres on removing as much surface water run-off as possible off the highway by introducing swale planting areas. 

The principles of the SuDS were to remove as much surface water run-off as possible off the highway and the combined sewer system in East Greenwich. 

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