Restoration of Clissold Park and House moves to the next phase

The £8.9m restoration of Clissold Park and House in Stoke Newington will return the Grade II* listed building and grounds to its former 18th century glory and include designs for 21st century facilities to meet the needs of modern day visitors.

In the last month, a second round of consultation on the renovation of the Park and House has come to an end. Residents and stakeholders were asked for their views to update the masterplan and refine design proposals for the restoration project, jointly funded by Hackney Council, Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and BIG Lottery Fund. This followed extensive public consultation in July 2006 that helped to define a set of objectives and proposals for the project.

A team of professional consultants, LDA Design, have led the second round of consultation exercises that ran until mid July on behalf of the Council. We consulted on specific aspects of the project such as the use of Clissold House, designs for new play and sports facilities, the proposal to extend the New River and also the renovation of the animal enclosures.

Consultation was undertaken in a variety of formats including staffed exhibitions, guided tours of Clissold House, schools survey, specific workshops, presentations and meetings with local people face to face meetings with key partners and other organisations, questionnaires and online. Members of the project team were also present at events to answer questions and talk people through the Stage 2 plans for Clissold Park and House.

Participation in the consultation has been widespread and representative of stakeholders. To date over 230 questionnaires have been returned and analysed.

The results from our consultation have shown that the community are in favour of the restoration of Clissold House, strongly favouring a new café terrace and seating on the southern side of the house. The proposals for the greatly expanded sports and play area were widely supported with 69 percent of people being in favour of a new sunken concrete skate park, which following consultation is to be located further into the park to reduce noise pollution.

Also, large percentages of respondents supported the extending and de-silting of the New River, the cleaning up of the lakes, the installation of a new butterfly dome, and the extending of the deer enclosure.

There was a mixed reaction to the proposal to remove the Aviary. Although the responses were split, more comments were received asking us to renovate or keep this feature in the park, so a decision to build a new Aviary to house these donated birds has been entered into the planning proposal.

Removing the lake railings has been another hot topic and due to people’s comments and their concerns for the safety of their children and the local wildlife, these will remain in place.

The relocation of waste management facilities to the existing maintenance depot, a secure area with improved access, has also received agreement. However, further discussions have been arranged with residents in the vicinity to explore other suggestions around this proposal.

Councillor Nargis Khan, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “I am delighted with the participation and feedback we have received in this second round of consultation. It is important for the Council to hear the views of park users and stakeholders in order to address their needs, and to help us realise our vision for the first major redevelopment of Clissold Park and House in over 100 years.”

During the consultation process concerns have been raised about the future accommodation of Hackney City Tennis Club (HCTC), as they are currently housed, at no charge, within Clissold House. Although the accommodation of the tennis club, (like other sports clubs), is outside the scope of the restoration project, Hackney’s Leisure Services team are working with HCTC and the Lawn Tennis Association to establish a detailed tennis development strategy for the borough, which includes options for future accommodation.

Phase 2 of the consultation on the masterplan and future of Clissold House and Park starts in August. It will explore volunteering opportunities and include discussions and events that will feed into the audience development plans.

The overall aim of the project is to conserve and enhance the park based on its original 18th century design, whilst making sure it caters for the needs of its users. Building work is due to start in 2009.

For further information about the project and consultation visit: or contact Shane Jensen, Project Development Officer, email: or telephone: 020 8356 2970.