Camden Council has awarded the contract to create a new public open space in Fitzrovia to its parks maintenance contractor idverde.
The works to create the new park at Alfred Place will begin in September and be completed by April 2021 in a deal worth £1.5m to idverde, which is currently working on another capital works contract for Camden, the “rejuvenation” of Whitfield Gardens public open space. Both projects are part of Camden’s West End Project to transform the Tottenham Court Road area.
The new lawn, seating, and planting at Alfred Place will be formed by removing most of the hard carriageway surface and all the car parking from the street but will leave a service road and a loading bay to provide access to businesses.
The new open space will greatly relieve the pressure on the existing small public parks in Fitzrovia. But while it will be the largest public green area in Fitzrovia it will still be smaller than the private gardens at nearby Bedford Square and Fitzroy Square.
Idverde scored ahead of five other bidders on quality and value for money in the competitive tender they submitted to Camden.
The scheme will be landscaped to a plan created by LDA Design who have stated that the materials have been selected because they are “high quality, robust and are durable enough to endure the demanding urban environment with minimal ongoing future maintenance”.
“Minimal ongoing future maintenance” is a hallmark of the way Camden operates its parks in Fitzrovia. At Whitfield Gardens the council is spending a large capital sum on a scheme with reduced greenery and greater use of hostile architecture, yet has been reluctant to spend more than a few thousand pounds each year on maintenance of the greenery and removal of rubbish.
Camden Council decision: Contract Award: Alfred Place Garden Works.