What is the proposed Toffee Park Redevelopment and why is it needed?

    The London Borough of Islington Council (LBI) has identified an opportunity on the Toffee Park site to develop a new Family Hub to better provide services to the local community. This opportunity has arisen from a review of the existing structures on the site in conjunction with the rising costs incurred to repair and maintain these buildings which are nearing the end of their lifespan.

    There are a number of proposed works to the site to provide services to the community including improved adventure playground facilities, resurfacing the existing multi-use games area (MUGA), developing a new skatepark, as well as providing a new Family Hub facility to provide Bright Start and Bright Futures services to local residents.

    There will be no reduction in the existing Adventure Playground services and facilities.

    What is the timeline for the public consultation, planning process and building works?

    Project Timeline 

    • 2nd February 2024 – Public Consultation opens and in-person public event
    • 16th February 2024 – Public Consultation closes 
    • Spring 2024 – Submission of Planning Application 
    • Winter 2024 – Anticipated start time of works 
    • Winter 2025 – Anticipated completion of works

    What are the design proposals?

    We have developed proposals for a single highly sustainable building which will be home to both the Family Hub and the Toffee Park Adventure Playground. 

    Our proposal seeks to create a building with a single entrance, enabling staff to manage access to large flexible spaces on the ground floor and offices and consultation rooms on the first floor. Independent external access to the Toffee Park Adventure Play facilities will be retained along Ironmonger Row. 

    The proposals seek to sensitively extend the existing Kings Square Community Nursery Building, amalgamating the Toffee Park Adventure Playground facilities within one building. The existing timber cabin, which is no longer suitable for use, will be demolished to create a larger external adventure play area. 

    We will also look to introduce a new skatepark at Radnor Street Gardens and to upgrade the existing multi-use games area (MUGA).

    What are the benefits to the local residents and community?

    LBI have identified that the facilities at Toffee Park are nearing the end of their lifespan, as such, they are proposing to adapt these to better suit the needs of families, children and young people within the borough.

     The developments on the site will seek to improve facilities and address the current shortfall in council supported initiatives for families and children within the Bunhill Ward. The proposals will enable LBI to continue to provide care and support to local residents.

    Will additional car parking be provided at Toffee Park?

    No additional car parking will be provided as part of the proposed redevelopment. The facilities are intended to serve the local community within walking distance of the site.

    Toffee Park is located in the southern part of the London Borough of Islington and benefits from its close proximity to a number of transport links, with a number of bus routes within a five minute walk or less from the site. There are also a good number of local cycle parking spaces within a five minute walk of the site.

    How will the new building impact daylight/sunlight?

    There will be no detrimental impact on the existing daylight/sunlight to the surrounding areas as the building will not increase in height and will be based around existing footprint of the nursery building.

    Will the building be designed in a sustainable way and will you be considering the environmental impact of the project?

    As part of the council’s commitment to deliver the net zero carbon programme, all projects are required to embed sustainability principles throughout their entire project life-cycle. This will include, where possible:

    • Considerations about reuse and recycling as well as reduction of waste.
    • The use of sustainable materials and energy efficient technologies, to reduce environmental impacts and to increase economic efficiency.
    • The refurbishment and fit out proposals are to achieve BREEAM 'Very Good' rating (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method).

    The project team includes a Sustainability Consultant who has developed site-specific sustainability strategy to ensure the design proposals meet the above requirements.

    Buildings are the largest source of carbon emissions in Islington, where our response is to retain, refurbish and extend the existing building as opposed to constructing a standalone new building. The benefits of this in terms of the carbon saved, noise pollution managed and disturbance to the local community mitigated is significant. The building will also be flexibly designed to secure its long-term use.

    In addition to our approach being inherently sustainable, we will be seeking to implement thermal improvements to the envelope and generate onsite renewal energy.

    What is the Family Hub?

    Family Hubs and Start for Life are government funded programmes which are delivered by 75 eligible local authorities, including the London Borough of Islington. These Hubs are a place-based strategy to co-ordinate the planning and delivery of family services within the locality. 

    Key elements of the Family Hubs are to offer support for families with children of ages 0-19, or 0-25 for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), as well as providing a high quality Start for Life offer for families and babies, from conception to age 2. Bright Start and Bright Futures will form an important part of the services provided at Family Hub.

    Bright Start was developed in 2017 to offer integrated early childhood services to families from pregnancy to age 5. They currently operate from a number of children’s centres, nurseries, health centres etc across the borough. However, these services are oversubscribed and there is a shortage of available facilities to deliver them in the south of the borough. Therefore, Toffee Park will be a key venue for delivering these services.

    Bright Futures is the early intervention and prevention offer for families with children aged 5 to 19 (25 for SEND children). Services include whole family intervention (targeted support), parenting programmes in schools and community settings, a helpline for families, outreach events and activities in the community. Bright Futures work closely with schools and other partners from various sectors including; health, employment, and voluntary sector organisations.

    How will the existing Adventure Playground be altered?

    Proposals will not seek to significantly alter the provision of the existing Adventure Playground facilities, where the arrangement of activities has been dictated by the users and therefore will be protected. 

    The existing adventure play log cabin is tired and requires unsustainable levels of maintenance and repair, becoming unsuitable for children’s play.

    Our proposal is therefore to demolish the log cabin and re-provide the adventure play indoor spaces within the other existing building on site (currently accommodating King Square Community Nursery), which will be extended and refurbished. The demolition of the log cabin will provide additional outdoor play space for the playground. 

    Who will be able to use it?

    The Toffee Park Adventure Playground is free and open to all Islington children aged 6 and up.

    How will the existing multi-use games area (MUGA) be upgraded?

    The existing MUGA at Radnor Street Gardens is in need of re-surfacing. We are proposing to replace the existing surface finish with a new and modern finish.  

    What is the skatepark and who can use it?

    The skatepark will be free to use by the public at all times and the facility will be fully accessible. 

    The freeform, hand finished concrete skatepark has been designed by specialist skatepark builders alongside project architects to tie seamlessly into the landscape and be sensitive to local resident needs and concerns.

    The variety of obstacles included in the design will enable the space to be enjoyed by scooter riders, BMX riders, skateboarders, rollerbladers and wheelchairs users.

    Will any trees be removed to accommodate the skatepark?

    The skatepark will be designed to avoid any impact on the existing trees at Radnor Street Gardens.

    What measures will be taken to mitigate potential noise issues generated by the skatepark?

    The skatepark will be specifically designed to limit noise to nearby residents through an array of tactics. Concrete ramps will be oriented and designed to deflect soundwaves upwards, away from the closest neighbours.

    A freeform, flow-style park will be adopted (as opposed to street inspired obstacles), which has been proven to reduce overall noise emitted from skateparks.

    Design techniques are used to minimise noise, such as anchoring steel elements into the ground to stiffen the structure and mitigate vibration and noise.

    What measures will be taken to mitigate the visual impact of the skatepark?

    Grassed bunding is proposed around the entire skatepark to place the concrete structure sensitively into the landscape and minimise visual impact from the surrounding area.

    All existing trees will be retained, and a hard and soft material palette will be employed to tie the skatepark into the wider area. 

    Will Radnor Street Gardens still be available for dog walking?

    Dogs walkers will be encouraged to keep their dogs on a lead as the skatepark will be designed to be open and accessible to all users, with level access and no fencing. In addition, there are many other dog walking spaces in the local area where dogs can be let off their leads.