Green campaigner wins latest battle with Hackney Council over parking space gardens

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A green campaigner who turned a parking space into a garden has won her latest battle with a London council.

Brenda Puech began setting up her People Parking Bay in different locations in Hackney over a month ago, complete with a fake lawn and garden furniture.

The gardens proved a huge hit among locals, but Hackney Council has removed the makeshift bay due to complaints from drivers.

After a month-long row with the 54-year-old, the council has now agreed to meet with Ms Puech next week to “come up with a solution that works for everyone”.

Brenda Puech has moved the bay across different parking spaces in the borough

A spokesman told the Standard officials have agreed not to remove her existing installation in the parking bay while they discuss plans for the “parkets”.

Ms Puech, who campaigns or walking charity Living Streets, said the latest development was “fantastic”, but vowed to continue to campaign for more parklets across the borough.

She told the Standard: “I’m delighted that they’re listening, but I want to go so much further. I haven’t quite won it yet.

“Why can’t none car owners, who outnumber car owners, have something nice in their spot?

“You will get more inventive creative ideas with residents. Then you can have one on every street – that is something that we should be encouraging.”

The parking bay has been a huge hit in the last month and filled several visiters books (Brenda Puech)

She added: “What I’m doing is actually a community asset, people love sitting there as they pass by. They love it and the kids love it.”

The most recently transformed parking space, which was opened by GLA Assembly Member Caroline Russell, has even played host to a couple’s first date, with a pair writing in the visitor’s book: “This is the best first date spot in London”.

A petition set up calling for the parking bay to remain in place attracted over 700 signatures.

Hackney Council runs its own “parklets” programme, such a popular spot in Shoreditch, and has removed hundreds of disused parking spaces in recent years,

But Ms Puech says residents should be able to buy permits for spaces and create their own. Only 35 per cent of residents in the borough own a car.

The council said it will now consult with residents to suggest locations to create more permanent spots.

Hackney councillor Feryal Demirci, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “Despite high levels of parking demand in the borough, Hackney Council is committed to improving the quality of life for our residents and ensuring that the borough remains the most liveable and sustainable borough in London.”

She added: “If residents would like to suggest other users for bays, such as parklets, then they should contact us. We can then work with them to create something that is suitable for the location, benefits local residents and will be maintained.”

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