Charlton Park and Maryon Park to get improvements from Greenwich Council

Charlton Park
Charlton Park is to see some council investment

Both Charlton Park and Maryon Park are to benefit from a Greenwich Council fund aimed at rejuvenating the borough’s parks.

Charlton Park will have its playground improved while sports changing rooms will also be refurbished as part of the programme, the first tranche of spending from a £1m fund set aside by the town hall.

Councillors on the cabinet, the borough’s main decision-making body, will discuss the plans in a meeting on Wednesday. However, there is no breakdown of just how much is being spent in the programme, which involves 11 parks.

Charlton Park will see money put towards the modernisation and redecoration of sports changing rooms, playground improvements, new park furniture and basic repairs. There is also funding for a wildlife meadow to the east of the park.

Maryon Park is due to see basic repairs, new park furniture as well as improvements to its ball court and its playground. It will also get new trees and wildflower margins.

There is no new funding for Maryon Wilson Park and Hornfair Park. (See full list.)

More than 2,600 people responded to a council survey about how they wanted to see the money spent. The most common request for Charlton Park was for additional toilets and maintenance as well as picnic area improvements, more bins and floodlights in the skatepark. Users of Maryon Wilson Park, which is not getting funding, called for a café and toilets, as well as work on its pathways and steps. (See full list.)

The report to councillors says: “Cafés and kiosks were also identified as important but creation of new café and kiosks would use a large proportion of the £1m budget and it was considered more important to improve the condition of the current facilities before adding new [ones].”

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Maryon Wilson animal keeper’s house could become council home

The house is awaiting a decision on its future

A house which used to be used by Maryon Wilson Park’s animal keeper is lying empty while Greenwich Council works out if it can use it as council housing, The Charlton Champion can reveal.

The house at 20 Thorntree Road, next to Maryon Park, used to be the home of the stocksman at Maryon Wilson animal park and was managed by the council’s parks department. When he retired, the parks department employed a property guardian company to put a short-term tenant in there.

However, the council has now taken on the site with an eye to turning it into council housing after the short-term tenant was evicted for rent arrears. The current animal keeper now lives some miles away from the park.

The property has been subjected to flytipping while its future is being decided. A legal agreement signed in 1922 – when the Maryon-Wilson family gave the land to the old London County Council – could get in the way.

The house is next to Maryon Park

An council spokesperson told The Charlton Champion: The situation with the covenant is currently unclear as the two paragraphs in the title deed appear to contradict one another with regards to restrictions on developing the land.

“We therefore need to refer back to the original 1922 deed of covenant to establish what was agreed; our legal team are working on this.”

She added: “A decision is expected in the coming weeks, depending on what is discovered with regards to the covenant.

“It is being discussed whether a feasibility study will be carried out to determine if the capital expenditure required to bring the property up to the Greenwich Homes Standard could incorporate measures that will make the house very-low or, even, zero carbon.”

The council recently launched its biggest home-building programme since the 1980s, and is aiming for its new homes to use as little energy as possible. A small number of new homes were recently unveiled off Harvey Gardens.

Last week, councillors approved cost-cutting plans that would mean other members of parks staff feeding Maryon Wilson Park’s animals at evenings and weekends. Gates to parks will also now be left unlocked at night to save money.


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Maryon Wilson Park Open Day: Meet the animals this Saturday

Maryon Wilson Park Open Day May 2018

Maryon Wilson Park’s Open Day is coming up this Saturday, 19th May: a chance to meet and feed the animals, plus a range of other family-friendly activities. The event takes place 11am-3pm, and you can keep up to date with Maryon Wilson Animal Park on Facebook.

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