London's first floating park to open in spring

London's first Floating Pocket Park has gained planning permission and is set to open this spring.

The floating park will have planted and pedestrian areas. Image: European Land
The floating park will have planted and pedestrian areas. Image: European Land

Designed by Tony Woods of The Garden Club, which is also delivering the build, the 730 sqm floating park in Paddington Basin on the Grand Union Canal will provide a colourful public space on the water with its own canal boat mooring.

The project is part of the 4.45 hectare canal-side Merchant Square development. Woods was commissioned by developer European Land and Property to develop the pontoon dock park. 

Chief executive Andrew Scrivener said: "Outdoor spaces are a key ingredient in any successful neighbourhood. At Merchant Square this incredible Floating Pocket Park – the first in London - will not only provide green space for our residents and unique outside workplace for our occupiers, but creates an oasis in the West End, offering Londoners a way to actively reconnect with the canal."

The Floating Pocket Park will feature open lawn areas, densely planted nectar-rich mixed raised borders and communal seating, as well as allowing people to walk over the water on a series of decked platforms and walkways. Woods has specified bespoke planting to encourage wildlife and the park includes a separate pontoon designed to attract ground-nesting birds.

Working to design the Floating Pocket Park has been a hugely exciting challenge, not only is this a truly one of a kind garden for London but a huge re-think of the way that we create public space in urban areas."

Deputy leader of planning authority Westminster City Council Robert Davis said the park would rejuvenate a forgotten section of the canal.

"The council welcomes this ingenious reinvention of the waterway which gives this part of the Grand Union a new purpose - attracting more businesses and visitors to the area."

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