Designs for Alfred Place and Whitfield Gardens go on public display

Camden Council has published landscape designs for a new public park at Alfred Place, a redesign for the existing Whitfield Gardens, and is seeking comments on the proposals this summer.

Glossy image of proposed park.

Proposed view of Alfred Place looking south. Image: Camden Council/LDA Design.

The scheme is part of a £35 million transformation of the Tottenham Court Road area — “the biggest Camden council-led transport scheme the borough has ever seen” and will address public demand for more public open space, improve air quality, and deal with traffic congestion and road safety, says Camden.

The plans, produced by LDA Design, are available to view on Camden’s website but while they show lots of glossy images there is little in the way of detail or any accurate views expected of professional drawings.

Glossy image.

Proposed view of Whitfield Gradens. Image: Camden Council/LDA Design.

The design for Whitfield Gardens appears to show an increase in hard surfaces and a reduction in greenery and the design for Alfred Place incorporates a loading bay as a central feature. The narrative accompanying the images says the public open spaces will meet “secure by design principles” and the graphic images show rows of cramped tube train-style seats with a few individual chairs.

The brochure for Alfred Place proudly displays haemorrhoid-inducing granite seating — reminiscent of the notorious Camden bench, derided as the “perfect anti-object” and an example of “hostile architecture”.

Whitfield Gardens is due to be closed this winter and open again in the spring of 2019 after the redesign. Work on Alfred Place is due to start at the end of 2019.

Councillor Adam Harrison, cabinet member for improving Camden’s environment, said in a statement:

“It’s time to green the West End, or Camden’s part of it at least. We are creating a totally new park in Alfred Place, innovatively turning road space into green space. This will be the first new park for this part of the borough in a quarter of a century.

“We will also transform Princes Circus in Holborn and Whitfield Gardens close to Goodge Street tube, both of which can be much improved. Working with LDA Design we will also create a string of pocket parks along Tottenham Court Road at Capper Street, Bedford Avenue, and Bailey Street. We are also adding over 20 new trees across the area.

“With uncertainty hanging over other important roads in the area such as Oxford Street, it is important that we take what steps we can to ensure the West End is as clean, green, and safe as possible.

“I hope as many people as possible come forward to comment on the plans.”

You can see the plans and meet the designers at a series of roadshows taking place at:

Whitfield Gardens: 24 July, 9.30am to 1.00pm
Alfred Place: 24 July, 2.00pm to 5.30pm
Princes Circus: 25 July, 11.30am to 3.00pm

You can also view the plans and listen to a presentation from the designers at the following two events, being held on Monday 23 July and Tuesday 21 August in the Building Centre, Store Street, London, WC1E 7BT. You can view the designs between 6.30 and 8.30pm with the presentation from LDA Design at 7.15 to 7.45pm

You can also visit the website www.camden.gov.uk/westendproject to the plans and email your comments to: westendproject@camden.gov.uk :: Deadline for feedback is 31 August 2018.

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