Reclaim the streets: Hither Green’s Ark provides more space for shoppers

The Ark in Hither Green. Pic: @makeleegreen

Shoppers in Hither Green have a new space to congregate thanks to a local initiative that has reclaimed car parking spaces and transformed them into an outside seating area.

The space – dubbed the Ark, on Staplehurst Road – is one of many initiatives in Lewisham created as a result of lockdown.

Make Lee Green, one of the organisations who were behind the idea of the so-called parklet, told EastLondonLines that it would be a welcome addition to an area which had previously been occupied by parking. 

A spokesperson said: ‘’It will provide an outside seating space which previously didn’t exist for people using shops, cafés and to allow the local community to have a sense of place.

They added: ‘”There’s a lot of research showing that increased footfall and spaces to linger and/or sit can be beneficial to increasing the average spend of each customer to each of those local businesses.’’

The idea of the parklet had initially been suggested to Lewisham Council by a variety of different groups, including the company YesMake, who are responsible for the construction of the parklet. 

The Make Lee Green team added that The Ark was cost-free and the future of what was done with the space is purely up to those who use it.

The spokesperson added: “It’s a free public communal space, which our members as well as other residents will make use of for various purposes. It has been put in place with no cost to residents, or the council.”

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