Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Millfields to lose its pastoral character

It is disappointing that Hackney Council is pressing ahead with its ill thought through path through the orchard on South Millfields, and that the Millfields Users Group (MUG) Committee have colluded with this decision. Basically, we are getting a path because there is funding available - its TFL funding for sustainable transport improvements, intended to create new greenway routes. It's funding for a cycle path, as part of the Olympic access routes initiative, but both Hackney council and the MUG Committee stress they don't expect any cyclists to use it and that the path is going to be built lovingly by hand. Our view is that Hackney Council shouldn't be building on the park, destroying its historical significance (see Millfields History) - it should be properly maintaining the existing pathways.

But, there is of course no funding available for the existing North Millfields path (pic on right) that runs parallel to Southwold Road which remains in a shocking and dangerous state for pedestrians, wheelchair users and cyclists.


  1. I agree, maintain the existing paths instead of carving up parkland to build new ones!

  2. I can't believe they want to destroy this lovely parkland. We love our natural walks through the Orchard and along the canal.
    Why can't a park be a park? Leave it alone!

  3. I'm a new resident, and I just love Millfields Park - and your blogsite which embraces all local things we care about.
    I am therefore concerned about Hackney Council's intention to urbanise the Orchid Path because there is TfL funding for Olympic cycle paths.
    Let's think a bit longer term and preserve our heritage,and our enjoyment of our parkland.

  4. Hackney spent around £60,000 on the Millfields MasterPlan which, to best of my knowledge, was never formally delivered to the MUG members to discuss or approve. It quietly made it's way onto the Hackney website and is now been used to push through schemes without proper consultation. In this case, it is disingenuous of the MUG Committee and Hackney Council Parks Department to cherry pick and implement elements which suit their agendas.

    There has only been one MUG General Meeting this year(September 17th) and whilst the Orchard Path was on the Agenda, there was no time to discuss this item. It is very disquietening to note this "project" is being done under the MUG umbrella. It isn't until it is discussed and agreed by members. Rather than a short term rush for available public funds which could and should be better employed, it's certainly overtime for consultation as to what Park Users really want.
    Pastoral or Urban?

  5. South Millfields has been severely carved up within the last few years. National Grid was permitted to build a substantial tarmac road through the park, install railings and subsequently build a wide tarmac layby thus bisecting S. Millfields with a blythe disregard for the impact of this on the park and local residents.

    Millfields is legally defined as common land. How could this have been allowed to happen??

    Hackney park users groups generally work effectively towards enhancing and preserving the biodiversity and general amenity of our parks. Unfortunately, it would seem that the current MUG committee is dominated by a group(who appear to exert an inordinate influence over Hackney council Parks Dept.) for whom this is not an a priori desire.

    Please leave the current natural footfall path by the orchard alone.

  6. Technical Glitch - tried posting comment earlier this week using my name via my gmail but site published under "anonymous" Hope prob has been fixed.
    I love Millfields, hate to see its increasing erosion by dubious motley "developments"
    Good informative balanced blogsite -thanks.

  7. We've now submitted a Freedom of Information request to Hackney to confirm if the Planning Inspectorate has given permission for building of the path on Millfields common land. Will let you know when we hear back.


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