When the magic garden goes up in flames: Why is it a bad idea to build in the city
Posted On July 11, 2021
In a year where millions of people have been exposed to the wonders of the Garden of Eden, and the city is trying to make it into a tourist destination, a new project to construct a new permanent garden in the City of London has been a hit with critics and some residents.
But, as the Telegraph’s David Hetherington reports, this new plan could put at risk the life-saving work being done by local staff who are dedicated to keeping London’s garden healthy and flourishing.
A spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, told Hetherson that while the new project has been approved by the Environment Agency, it is still awaiting a decision by the city council, which would be finalised within a year.
This has prompted residents to call for the garden to be shut down.
“The idea of a garden being constructed in the heart of the city at a time of massive air pollution is a disgrace,” one user on the website GardenOfEdinburgh wrote.
“The garden has the potential to provide much needed jobs for Londoners and, if it is built, it will cause the death of thousands of Londoners,” another added.
“We know that the government will approve this project without further consultation and it will be a massive waste of money.
It will make London a very different place.
I am opposed to it.”
The garden in question was originally proposed to be built on the site of the famous Edith Wharton Botanical Garden in the late 19th century, but a planning application was submitted in 2007.
At the time, it was planned that the garden would have a permanent home, and that the gardens in the surrounding area would be demolished when it was completed.
The site is currently owned by the estate agent, Cotswold and Holborn, which has been involved in the development of the garden since its inception in 2015.
The new proposal would allow for a new structure to be constructed which would also include a park, playground, bike path and a garden cafe.
However, this could also be in jeopardy because the government has stated that the site is “not suitable for new development”.
“We have received a number of calls from residents and we are working with the council to understand how we can make the site more suitable,” a spokesperson for Cotswhold and Hetherton told Heddings.
“As this is an important site, we are making every effort to support this project as far as possible.”
Despite the objections, the Department of Environment, food and rural affairs has been clear that the proposal has the support of the City Council, with the spokesperson saying: “It is our view that this project will provide vital jobs for local people and will help improve air quality in the capital city.”
“This project has received the approval of the Environment Authority and we will continue to work with the Council to deliver this project.”
A spokesperson with the City for London told Headers that the Garden Of Edith Botanical Gardens is a world-renowned site, and it is a unique landmark in the UK.
“We believe this is a project which will bring significant jobs to London and is part of the wider regeneration of the site,” they said.
“It will also bring many benefits to local communities including the regeneration of an area where there is a high number of people living with asthma.”
The spokesperson also pointed out that the current plan has been developed by Cotsworth and Holborne, who are already providing support to local businesses and residents, such as the London Borough of Camden.