Pocket park in Barking small in size but big in heart

One of Europe’s “smallest parks” built on a row of demolished east London houses is set to open next week.

The temporary Phoenix Park will open on June 1 to residents of the Gascoigne Estate in Barking , which is being redeveloped.

The site, near Hardwick Street, was previously a row of empty houses that the Barking and Dagenham council said was attracting antisocial behaviour.

They were demolished as part of the Gascoigne West redevelopment and with nearby play areas now closed as part of the work, the town hall has created the pocket park for local children.

It is expected to stay in place for at least three years before houses are rebuilt on the site.

The new park, which was includes a play area, a gym corner, a seating and stage area , a garden area, a feasting table and a growing plot.

Its design was created with the help of the Gascoigne Residents’ Forum.

Barking and Dagenham Council leader Darren Rodwell, said: “I understand Phoenix Park in Dublin is one of Europe’s largest. Well, Barking’s Phoenix Park may be one of Europe’s smallest but it’s big on heart thanks to its fantastic community involvement.”

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Rachael Burford

Local Democracy Reporter