Consultation on proposals to protect Hackney Wick Woodland
The Council has launched a consultation with local residents on proposals to protect Hackney Wick Woodland from environmental damage and limit the disturbance caused by loud music and antisocial behaviour resulting from illegal raves in the area.
The damage resulting from the raves has included fly-tipping, fire damage and uprooting of trees and plants in the woodland.
Residents in the area have also faced sleepless nights as a result of the raves, which go on through the night and often see large numbers of people descend on Wick Woodland.
The Council and the Police have over a number of years taken action using the tools they currently have to respond to these concerns. This has included installing logs and natural fencing to make the area difficult to access with machinery; applying for injunctions to prevent organisers setting up raves; and issuing community protection warnings. However these unauthorised events have continued to have a negative impact on the woodland and neighbouring residents.
The Council, with the support of the police, is therefore proposing to introduce a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), which would enable enforcement officers to issue on-the-spot fines to those organising and attending raves and causing antisocial behaviour in the area, helping to address residents’ concerns about noise and damage to the woodland.
PSPOs are aimed at ensuring public spaces can be enjoyed free from anti-social behaviour. They are not about stopping the responsible use of spaces, but provide councils with a tool to tackle persistent issues that are damaging their communities. For example, PSPOs are currently in place in Hackney to prevent dog fouling and antisocial street-drinking.
The proposed Public Space Protection Order would apply only to the Wick Woodland area, which is bordered by the A12, the B112 and the River Lee Navigation.
Hackney Wick Woodland is Hackney’s green lung, and we want to make sure that it remains a place that everyone can enjoy. Following significant damage to the Woodland area, and regular large-scale illegal raves that often go on all night and cause severe disruption to people in the area, we want to introduce these plans to protect both the Woodland and the people who live beside it.
I’d encourage people in the area who want to make sure the Woodland is protected and remains a place for everyone to respond to the consultation.