Anger over plans for ‘expensive’ wall at summit of Primrose Hill

A long-awaited makeover of Primrose Hill’s Grade-II listed summit has been branded a waste of money by park watchdogs.

Work has already started on a stone perimeter wall to enclose one of the capital’s best vantage points.

But the Friends of Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill say cash is in short supply and money should be spent elsewhere in the open space.

Managers from Royal Parks have been forced to rethink more elaborate plans to engrave landmarks of London’s iconic buildings into the York stone wall, after the friends group criticised the proposal at a meeting this month.

Friends chairman Malcolm Kafetz said: “Quite frankly, stone masons are terribly expensive. It’s much more simple to leave it the way it is - but the whole thing seems stupid.

“There are so many other things which need doing. The parks are in very bad shape.”

Royal Parks has suffered from a �5.5million cut to its five-year budget and a 24 per cent reduction in police funding since last year.

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Mr Kafetz said that park visitors only spent a few minutes on the summit - which has featured in films such as Notes on a Scandal starring Judi Dench - and so is not a priority for improvement works.

“It does not need to be manicured because people go up there and don’t spend much time on the summit,” he said.

“They look at what they want to see and then take their sandwiches and go and sit on the spot of grass they picked out from the summit.”

A Royal Parks spokeswoman said that the asphalt and granite, laid down in the 1970s, was in dire need of repair after years of wear and tear which has caused drainage problems.

She added that plans for the engravings had not yet been finalised and the friends group would have an opportunity to have their say.

“It’s such an extremely beautiful spot, with the most incredible vista of London that it’s about creating something befitting the summit,” she said.