Hackney Council responds to consultation about events on Hackney Marshes
Following a public consultation to hear views on the possibility of holding entertainment events on Hackney Marshes, Hackney Council has listened to the concerns raised and decided not to apply for permission to hold major public events on this occasion.
The Council feels that some events on the Marshes could be appropriate in future, but would approach this in a different way. The Council will consider interest from events promoters on specific future proposals, but they would be assessed on an individual basis and accompanied by consultation at the time, giving Marshes users and local people specific information on which to base their feedback.
The Council consulted from 26 February to 23 April to help it decide whether to apply to the Planning Inspectorate for what is known as PINS consent. This would have allowed the Council to hold several major or large public entertainment events over five years, between 1 May and 31 August, on a specific area of the Marshes.
We have listened very carefully to people’s concerns and as a result we will not be submitting the PINS application on this occasion. We realise that by proposing blanket permission for a number of events across the summer, we caused great concern as the nature of any event would be unknown. We also appreciate that the proposed number of major events was too high for many people. We still feel that some events on the Marshes could be appropriate in the future but we would approach this in a different way. The Council will consider interest from events promoters on specific future proposals, but they would be assessed on an individual basis and accompanied by consultation at the time, giving Marshes users and local people specific information on which to base their feedback. We are committed to continuing to support and develop sport on Hackney Marshes which is why over the last five years, along with our funding partners, we’ve invested over £18m on improving pitches and facilities.
Separate to the multi-million pound programme of improvements, the day to day running of Hackney Marshes costs the local Council Tax payer more than £500,000 per year in subsidy, as pitch fees do not cover the upkeep.
In the current economic climate, the Council needs to look at how best to fund the maintenance of the Marshes to ensure that residents can continue to enjoy the area.
Cllr McShane added: “In the current economic climate, with local government funding continuing to be significantly reduced, it is vital we find new ways of funding the £500,000 subsidy we currently provide to run the Marshes, maintain their high quality, and keep costs to users at a reasonable level. We feel strongly that this could include events on the Marshes in future – and we believe the fact 30,000 local people attended the BBC Radio 1 Hackney Weekend shows there is demand - but we will do our best to come to an agreement that takes into account the needs of all Marshes users and residents.”
For more information, visit: www.hackney.gov.uk/hackneymarshes