Islington Council can today announce plans for major, transformative improvements to Clerkenwell Green – one of the borough’s most historic, popular spaces – as part of its mission to create a cleaner, greener, healthier borough.

As well as boosting biodiversity and improving air quality, the council’s proposals would make the Green a more attractive space for the many people that use it every day. The improvements would also make the area quieter and safer for local people to walk or cycle, and for buggy and wheelchair-users to get about.

Clerkenwell Green is one of London’s oldest public spaces, dating back to the 12th century, and is surrounded by some of Islington’s most attractive and interesting buildings.    

Back in 2017, the council consulted local people on proposals to improve the Green by creating a more pleasant and greener local environment. These proposals received overwhelming support at the time, with 82% of the 433 respondents giving positive feedback. The council is now taking forward the following changes:

Planting seven trees and introducing low-level paving on the Green.
Introducing new paved areas, and replacing some existing paving with new, more attractive Yorkstone paving and granite setts.
Making it easier to walk, cycle, and use buggies and wheelchairs by closing the junction of Clerkenwell Road and Clerkenwell Green to motor vehicles.
Removing 43 parking spaces and one motorcycle stand.
Ensuring that more people can enjoy the historic space by introducing four new benches.
These improvements would bring an additional 1,700 metres of public space, representing a 68% increase in public space and a 51% fall in road space. Work on bringing this exciting vision to life is planned to start in February 2023 – subject to consultation with local people – and is expected to be completed by the summer.

The major improvement plans would support the Clerkenwell Green people-friendly streets neighbourhood, which was introduced as an 18-month trial in September 2020. As revealed last March, the neighbourhood will remain in place permanently, following positive monitoring data and resident feedback. The council is now proposing that a Blue Badge exemption that was introduced on a trial basis to make it easier for disabled people to travel in the neighbourhood is also made permanent.  

Cllr Rowena Champion, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Air Quality, and Transport, said: “Clerkenwell Green is one of the borough’s most historic public spaces, and the improvements that we’re proposing will help make it a more attractive space for the many people that use it every day, as well as boosting air quality and biodiversity.

“We’re on a mission to make Islington a cleaner, greener, healthier place for everyone, and maximising the potential of public spaces, including Clerkenwell Green, is at the heart of this.

“Alongside the Clerkenwell Green people-friendly streets neighbourhood, the changes would also make it easier and safer for local people to walk, cycle, and use buggies and wheelchairs.”   

The council is contacting local people and businesses to inform them of the plans, and further information can be found on the council’s website.    

Local people are able to have their say on the major improvement plans for the Green and the decision to make Blue Badge exemptions in the Clerkenwell Green people-friendly streets neighbourhood permanent before Friday, 27 January. Feedback can be sent by email to [email protected], or by post to Public Realm, 1 Cottage Road, London, N7 8TP.

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