Bidding underway soon for Burgess Park

A procurement package is being created by Southwark Council to find a firm that can design £6m of improvements to Burgess Park.

The green space - which was awarded a £2m grant from London mayor Boris Johnson in his Priority Parks scheme - will require significant infrastructure changes.

The council's parks and open spaces manager Rebecca Towers told HW that the process needed to happen quickly to meet deadlines required by the funders, including the Aylesbury New Deal for Communities.

"It is a large amount of money so it is subject to certain procurement rules and will take a little while but we are going to appoint someone as quickly as we can," said Towers.

"I hope that by the end of the year there will be a lead consultant in place."

Towers said the work would be based around five key principles. These include improving access to nature, removing redundant roads and strengthening the park's boundaries.

In addition, improving entrances to encourage people into the park and creating unifying structures will be critical, she added.

"Once we remove redundant roads and the existing chaotic network of paths we can reclaim hard surfacing into green space.

"If we want to spend our £6m really wisely, the boundary has to be strengthened around all this space. It could potentially be difficult to link all the little green patches of land,"she explained.

A total of 1,200 people backed the park's bid for mayoral cash through social networking site Facebook, and Towers explained the project would include engaging with that community.

Farrer Huxley Associates created a feasibility study for works to the park last year and director Noel Farrer said the firm would be putting in a bid to design the scheme.

"Our feasibility study is a fantastic starting point," said Farrer. "But I think we have to be better than before and raise our game.

"We can't be complacent in any way about how we are going to approach the next stage."

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