I completely agree with your correspondent Peter Foley about the enormous historical importance of Barking Abbey ruins, St Margaret s Church and its churchyard (Postbag, 21 October, There is no need to tart up our marvellous Abbey ). It is a very beauti
I completely agree with your correspondent Peter Foley about the enormous historical importance of Barking Abbey ruins, St Margaret's Church and its churchyard (Postbag, 21 October, 'There is no need to tart up our marvellous Abbey').
It is a very beautiful place and must be protected for future generations.
However, despite its beauty and historical importance, Abbey Green is sadly not visited by a large number of people, despite being only a few yards away from the busy town centre. That is why the council is working with the Architects' Journal and Design for London to rejuvenate the area.
The project is not about 'tarting up' the ruins, rather it aims to improve the look and feel of the whole Abbey Green area, including the Town Quay. Designers were asked to come up with an idea which would provide a better pedestrian link between the town centre and the River Roding. We are confident that whatever design wins it will encourage more residents and visitors to enjoy Abbey Green.
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The judging panel includes representatives from English Heritage and St Margaret's Church, both of whom will make sure the winning proposal is sympathetic to the site's historical heritage.
However, this is a democratic process and I would urge Mr Foley, and anyone else who has an interest, to visit the exhibition in Barking Learning Centre. Models and drawing are on display near the main entrance until 20 November. The judge's decision will be made on 13 November and members of the public have until then to make their views known about which design they prefer.
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Cllr Bob Little
Cabinet member for Parks
Barking and Dagenham Council