11 June 2014

Views wanted on the original Brighton Park

Queen’s Park was once the playground of the rich but for over 100 years has been owned by the people of Brighton & Hove. Now the local community has the opportunity to help shape future improvements and preserve the park’s heritage for future generations.

Brighton & Hove City Council has been working with the Friends of Queens Park, residents and local landscape architect Tom Hardiment to develop proposals for the park through a Masterplan.

People can comment on the Masterplan and contribute their views from now until 23 July. The completed Masterplan will inform decisions around the day to day management and maintenance of the park and would be able to form the basis to apply for external funding to complete some of the more significant works.

As well as a wildlife garden which includes medicinal herbs, a well-used playground, scented garden and tennis courts, the Grade II listed park also has a large wildlife pond and a clock tower with nesting boxes for swifts.

The Masterplan makes suggestions for carrying out restoration work, opening up views and upgrading lighting and seating. Views will be collated and be put in the final plan for publication in January 2015.

People will also be able to give their views in Queens Park at the ‘Bark in the Park’ event this Sunday, 15 June and ‘Picnic in the Park’ on 29 June. You can also contribute through the website www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/QP-proposals

Councillor Pete West, chair of the environment and sustainability committee, said: “Queens Park is extremely popular and it is important that we develop a Masterplan with the community who play such a big part in looking after it. Residents feel passionate about the park and their input will ensure this special place continues to be a haven for both people and wildlife for years to come.”

Property owner Thomas Attree bought the land, then known as Brighton Park, in 1825 and developed it into a residential open space with villas, inspired by Regent’s Park in London. A spa opened there the same year. Attree renamed it Queens Park after Queen Adelaide, consort of William IV, as she was a regular visitor to the spa. That site is now occupied by the Royal Spa nursery school.