Whether it is for sports fans, nature lovers or runners, the plans to improve facilities aim to encourage more local people to visit and use the Marshes. Planned improvements include:
- new cricket facilities and pavilion at North Marsh (to be completed early 2018)
- a new all weather pitch and improved landscaping at Mabley Green (completed 2016)
- restoration of football pitches at East Marsh (completed 2015)
- a 30% reduction in car parking across Hackney Marshes
- new cycle and walking routes
New pavilion on North Marsh
Hackney Council is working in partnership with the Football Foundation and the England and Wales Cricket Board to build a new high-quality changing facility at North Marsh. Planning permission for the new facility was granted in June 2015 and Common Land consent was granted in August 2015. The pavilion will replace the existing changing room building, which has reached the end of its useful life, and will complete the Council's wider transformation programme for the Marshes.
The pavilion will include 16 full-size changing rooms and four officials' rooms alongside a new social space that will overlook the cricket show-pitch. It is a one-storey building designed to be as unobtrusive as possible within the existing landscape that incorporates a variety of sustainability features.
The new facility will also be complemented by new landscaping which will contain an area reserved for parking, and which will include areas of new planting, including a new stand of poplars to be planted along the southern face of the building. The parking area will incorporate a sustainable drainage design meaning that the surface will be fully permeable.
The works at North Marsh will proceed in two stages. Borras Construction Limited will be responsible for the first phase, which will include the erection of the new building. Once the building is nearing completion, the landscaping contractor, ID Verde UK, will commence demolition of the existing changing rooms and commence construction of the car parking area and associated planting. Work will continue until early 2018.
During the construction period the Council will work with the contractors to ensure that there is no negative impact on local residents and that the Marsh can be accessed as normal.
A section of the cycle route that runs past the existing changing facility will need to be diverted for the duration of the works. This will require cyclists and pedestrians who normally utilise this route to travel further along the towpath in order to avoid this area of the works. Diversions will be clearly signposted.
East Marsh has been reinstated and returned to the Council by the London Legacy Development Corporation following use for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The reinstated facilities include 11 adult football pitches, and a new walking and cycling route to link East Marsh with the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. In consultation with the Football Leagues, the pitches on East Marsh will be used over the winter period to allow pitches on the main Marsh to be rested.