27 February 2012

Hackford Road to be transformed into Green Oasis

Work has begun on the transformation of Hackford Road, SW9 in Lambeth's Vassall Ward. The road will be transformed by the addition of trees and plants under a scheme being undertaken by Lambeth Council in partnership with local residents.

Hackford Road was formerly home to the artist Vincent van Gogh when he was in London in 1873-1874. Almost 140 years on now local residents are helping transform the area by creating a new ‘community play street’ dominated by people, trees and play facilities, instead of cars.

Trees such as Cypresses, Almond trees and lavender bushes featured in van Gogh's paintings will be planted, and a new children’s play area and benches will take the place of traffic in a pedestrianised Isabel Street.

Ccouncillor Nigel Haselden, Lambeth Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport welcomed the scheme saying “This is a really exciting scheme that will reclaim the  neighbourhood from traffic
and make it a place when people are the priority, where they can gather, play and socialise with their neighbours. When Van Gogh lived here he wrote that the neighbourhood was so peaceful that he regularly forgot he was so close to the centre of London- this scheme should bring back some of that tranquillity and peace and quiet."

Elaine Kramer, chair of neighbourhood group Streets Ahead, who lives in Morat Street, said: “I am really delighted to see the on-site start of this resident led transformation of the neighbourhood. It’s fantastic that our built up neighbourhood is being greened with trees and plants all referred to in van Gogh's paintings and will also be more pedestrian friendly. Our community street means neighbours will have a chance to meet each other and kids with no gardens will have a safe place to play.”

The photo shows construction work beginning on the scheme in Hackford Road. Pictured are Vassall Ward Councillors Adrian Garden and Steve Bradley as well as Councillor Nigel Haselden (front left) and Councillor Lorna Campbell, Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainability (front centre) and Elaine Kramer (front, fourth from left)

More information on the scheme can be found on the Grass Routes page of the Lambeth website