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Community garden planned for bleak Melior Street plot

London SE1 website team

Plans to turn an under-used space in Melior Street into a vibrant community garden are now at an advanced stage.

Community garden planned for bleak Melior Street plot
Plan for the new garden
Melior Street Gardens
The space is currently an expanse of paving and gravel surrounded by a high fence

Team London Bridge have secured £50,000 from Bermondsey Community Council's 'Cleaner, Safer' Greener' fund to contribute towards the £120,000 scheme in Melior Street Gardens.

The remaining finance for the project comes directly from businesses within the London Bridge business improvement district (BID) via Team London Bridge's environmental programme.

"Given that pubic open space is a scarce resource near London Bridge Station, the fact that Melior Street Gardens has been largely unusable for the 10 years I've been here is a desperate shame," says James Dinwiddie, chair of Team London Bridge.

"Team London Bridge is determined to help bring wasted spaces like this back into use and ensure that the public realm is well cared for and a pleasure to use."

The patch of lane land adjoins the Border & Immigration Agency's reporting centre at Beckett House and the Home Office has a legal responsibility to keep the space open to the public.

At present it is an unwelcoming paved area that can feel unsafe feel due to dead-end corners fenced in by metal railings.

Awarded-winning local architects Cracknell have designed a new garden including a number of deep flower beds raised up from the ground using reclaimed hardwood, while timber composting bins and rainwater collection drums will provide sustainable resources for the garden.

Low hedges, steel cut silhouettes of community scenes and stylish metal arbours will mark the perimeter.

A small potting shed will be installed and armchairs made from wood and cast iron will offer comfortable places to rest.

Work on the site will start in late May and will take up to 6 weeks to complete.

Team London Bridge will be working with St Mungo's 'Putting Down Roots' programme. Putting Down Roots is a gardening project for people who are currently or have been homeless, or who are at risk of becoming homeless in the future.

The staff at the Manna Centre across the road on Melior Street will help identify those who will benefit most from taking part in the scheme, providing them with responsibility and a sense of achievement as they help build and maintain the space.

As well as the Melior Street project Team London Bridge is also working on 'Pocket Plaza' projects in Snowsfields and at Shipwright Yard.

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