Parkland Walk: Council urged to reconsider Stanhope Road access plans 

Residents protesting against plans to fell trees on the Parkland Walk

Plans for a new footbridge at Stanhope Road were approved by Haringey Council last year, with tree felling one of the primary concerns raised by protesters - Credit: Rachel Kiki

Haringey Council's plans to fell trees to build a new ramp to Parkland Walk have come under fire from residents.

The council is still in the design phase of a project to replace the footbridge at Stanhope Road, with the construction of a ramp raised as a concern. 

The council approved the plans for the footbridge in December last year, despite the submission of nearly 200 objections. 

Simon Olley, a committee member and former chair of the Friends of Parkland Walk, has described the solution the council proposed as “way off”, and not suitably addressing the issue of equal access it claims to be resolving. 

The site of the current footbridge at Stanhope Road

The site of the current footbridge at Stanhope Road, which Haringey Council say is to be replaced as it is reaching the end of its life cycle, and repairing it is not economically viable - Credit: Google

For Simon, the proposal represents poor use of money, which he believes, rather than being spent on constructing the ramp at Stanhope Road, should go towards fixing current issues affecting the Walk. 

He said: “Really, if you were going to spend money on a facility for people with mobility problems, then the first thing you really need to correct is the two main entrances on either end, which are flawed and need proper attention, and that could be done without affecting any trees. 

“And the other aspect is that there were already a lot of mobility issues on the length of the Parkland Walk itself. So, you give people a facility to get onto the Parkland Walk, and then the Parkland Walk itself has got places where the path is completely broken away.” 

In communications with the council, Simon was told that, due to the Equalities Act 2010, access for those with mobility issues had to be constructed at the Stanhope Road location.

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Simon argues that this relies on a misunderstanding of the legislation. 

“We were under the impression that the Equalities Act was not that restrictive, and that as long as a provision for people with mobility issues is made, it can be made in a sympathetic location”, he said. 

Residents protesting against plans to fell trees on the Parkland Walk

Residents protesting against plans to fell trees on the Parkland Walk - Credit: Rachel Kiki

Cllr Mike Hakata, the deputy leader of Haringey Council and cabinet member for the environment, transport and the climate emergency, said any decision on whether to go ahead with the project will not be made until the council has assessed and reviewed the facts. 

He said that, while complexities exist, “we want to explore ways in which we can make Parkland Walk an accessible and inclusive space for Haringey residents and fellow Londoners of all ages and abilities”.