But what about...?


But there are lots of other parks nearby...

Yes, Paddington Street Gardens is just next door, with a fantastic play area for children under 11, but no ball games are allowed.

And Regent's Park is close, but the 6-lane Marylebone Road is a traffic blackspot.

It is the only open kickabout space locally, in this ward cluster (Marylebone High St, West End, Bryanston & Dorset Squares). There isn't anywhere else you can kick a ball around. 

47% of children at St Vincent's Primary have NO open-access kickabout space in their home ward (2011 Census)

But it's so run down...

It is. The problem isn't the playground - it is  the dreadful condition it is in. We believe it should be maintained to the same high standard as our award-winning local parks.

But I've never seen anyone playing there...

Before it was boarded up in 2015, it was well-used by local kids, for decades - after school and at weekends. CityWest Homes even had a key rota for local residents to lock up every evening. Local schools and parents support this campaign.

But I've heard about crime and anti-social behaviour...

We don't believe that children playing football on an open football pitch should be classed as 'trespassing'.

The Police define the area as 'enjoying natural surveillance' because it is completely overlooked, which deters criminal behaviour. Unfortunately, since it was boarded up in 2015, rough sleepers have been attracted, because it is now hidden from view. 

Award-winning Paddington Street Gardens proves that we can have well-managed local amenities, which are safe and secure for all to use.

But who will pay for it...?

The cost of maintenance has been charged to Luxborough Tower leaseholders - who have (understandably) been very aggrieved at having to fund a community facility. 

We believe that maintenance can be covered by variations to existing WCC contracts, with contributions from the Ward budget, sponsorship and grants. Capital (build) cost from WCC-approved Community Infrastructure Levy funds* and Sport England grants. It is a community asset.

But the Council are going to build on it...

The WCC City Plan S35 says 'The Council will protect and enhance Westminster’s open space... and address public open space and active play space deficiency...'

The overall and localised shortage of open space and the difficulty of finding new sites make it essential to resist the loss of even the smallest open spaces’*

There have been  'definite' plans since 2009 - so until the bulldozers turn up, we will keep fighting to Save the Space!