Council offering up to £250 to turn parking spots into mini-parks

The council wants to see less of the borough’s roads reserved for cars
By Waltham Forest Echo

Gloucester Road residents enjoying their new 'parklet' (credit: WF Council)
Gloucester Road residents enjoying their new ‘parklet’ (credit: WF Council)

Residents are invited to apply for grants of up to £250 to turn a parking spot near them into a mini park.

Waltham Forest Council previously created a handful of trial “parklets” in spots around the south of the borough and is now keen to help even more people “reimagine their local street”.

The council hopes to reduce the amount of space given over to cars and is calling for applications today to mark World Car-Free Day.

One of the newest parklets – in Gloucester Road, Walthamstow – was the result of a suggestion by local dad Toby Spearpoint.

Toby told the Echo: “The parklet has seating, bike parking, a little book library, and a seed library. 

“Families stop here every day, kids stop to read, play and draw, while older people on the street have used the parklet as a resting point, a place to meet friends and chat. 

“It’s become a hub for the community’s benefit and highlights the need for more people-friendly spaces.”

The announcement comes only a few weeks after the council ordered another street community in Walthamstow to remove a free children’s library created during lockdown.

Deputy leader Clyde Loakes said: “After a hugely successful trial, we’re committed to bringing more parklets to the streets of Waltham Forest so that more of us can reap the social, community and biodiverse benefits of reclaiming small pieces of our public realm.

“Far too much of our shared space is taken up by parked motor vehicles. To mark World Car Free Day this year, we want as many people in Waltham Forest as possible to apply.

“Community parklets give our children safe spaces to read and draw and they create more places for friends and neighbours to meet. Crucially they allow us all to experience our neighbourhoods with fewer parked up cars and, more often than not, even more biodiversity.”

The council already plans to open three more parklets in Leytonstone, Walthamstow and Wood Street this autumn. 

It has also introduced a number of ‘micro’ parklets in the area around Leytonstone High Road outside the Wild Goose Bakery, San Marino Café and more recently the Fitness Hub.

Find out more about parklets and how to apply here.