Skateboarding and Public Realm Design
A Member raised a question about skateboarding and public realm design, particularly in Vine Street. Permission for student accommodation had been granted here and, at the time, Members were told that Vine Street would be semi-pedestrianised with trees planted here to soften the noise impact for nearby residents and also to mitigate any overlooking of properties. She stressed that whilst the area had been beautifully paved, there was no planting here and it now looked like an ideal space for skateboarders and was currently being frequently used for this purpose. This was causing a lot of aggravation and conflict for security staff of sites in the area. The Member went on to report that the area was also being used by students living here for drinking games late at night. She went on to state that the Streets and Walkways Sub Committee had spoken on many occasions about the need to design out skateboarding and ensuring that when public realm was designed, anti-social behaviour was also designed out. This did not seem to be happening in practice. The Member questioned why Ward Members had not been consulted on the change of plans and lack of planting in this space. She stressed that if these problems were not going to be designed out (which was the preferred route) then more resource would need to go into policing the resulting issues.
Another Member supported this view and agreed that the same mistakes could not continue to be made. As Chairman of the Streets and Walkways Sub Committee, he undertook to look into this matter further and asked that Officers prepare a future paper on the matter for consideration.
The Chair asked that Officers respond directly to the Member on this matter and also copy him and his Deputy Chairman into this response.
Another Member highlighted that the cycleway on the recently completed Aldgate Square development was also proving to be extremely popular with skateboarders where the problem had almost been designed in.
London Wall Car Park Logistics Centre
A Member questioned whether this matter was still to be considered by this Committee and, if so, what the likely timetable for this was. She underlined that many local residents had expressed concerns around this and that it was therefore a matter that was very likely to be raised with Members as Ward elections approached. The Chief Planning Officer confirmed that it was currently intended that this matter be considered by this Committee at its meeting on 26 April 2022 – the first of the new municipal year.