The following article was written for The Neighbourhood Planning Forum.
"There is a chance to have a say about how the local environment can be protected and enhanced as well as being enjoyed by all who wish to counteract the high pollution levels currently in the vicinity of The Spitalfields & Banglatown Neighbourhood Planning Forum.
For a number of years it has been obvious to many that the local parks, gardens, and green spaces within the public realm have not been properly maintained by Tower Hamlets Council. Just seeing how other boroughs in London do so bring you to this conclusion.
Statutory rights do not exist for local authorities to maintain the environmental aspects of a borough. However, the authority work alongside newly formed bodies, one of which is the neighbourhood planning forum. Within the area marked for Spitalfields & Banglatown, the largest park would be Allen Gardens with smaller parks nearby.
The idea would be to plant these so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of nature as more and more people understand the climate emergency on which many are now focused.
The Shoreditch Forest Garden, although not within the area of The Spitalfields & Banglatown Planning Forum, would be the most prominent park in the local area. It is hoped that once it is ready, the whole area will be able to have a sustainable future in plants.
To have such an area at the commencement of The Great Eastern Parks Route, would be a benefit to the area, in the way of new business.
Bringing revenue to the neighbourhood would ensure correct planting methods are followed, together with far better maintenance of all the planted areas within Spitalfields & Banglatown. This would also benefit neighbourhood activities which would become more prominent within the area.
Having a say over the environment, as best it can be protected and enhanced, will in some way bring the level of air pollution down, show pride in what we are able to achieve, and educate people on how they may improve their lives.
Planting is always subjective but within the parks as listed in the planning forum documents, it would be an achievement if following the best practices from others around the world were brought to bear in Spitalfields and Banglatown."
Geoffrey Juden, Chairman, The East London Garden Society