Wick Woodland/Hackney Marshes PSPO 2022

Closed 19 Jul 2022

Opened 31 May 2022

Overview

In response to the numerous complaints relating to antisocial behaviour and unauthorised events in Wick Woodlands, Hackney Marshes, Millfields, Daubeney Fields and Mabley Green over the last few years, the Council and police recommend the introduction of a new Public Space Protection Order (PSPO). The new PSPO would provide officers with a more effective tool to protect residents and prevent environmental and wildlife damage in the area.

Following consultation, a PSPO for the Wick Woodland area was implemented in 2019 and is due to expire in June 2022. The Council is proposing a new PSPO in response to the growing number of complaints about unlicensed music events or raves and antisocial behaviour in Wick Woodland, Hackney Marshes and the surrounding area.

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PSPO proposal

PSPOs are intended to ensure public spaces can be enjoyed by all, free from anti-social behaviour. PSPOs deal with a particular problem or nuisance in a specific area by imposing conditions of use on that area. 

They are not about stopping the responsible use of public spaces - but they do provide councils with a tool to tackle persistent issues that are damaging their communities. We propose that the PSPO for Wick Woodland, Hackney Marshes and the surrounding area includes the following controls, specifically designed to prevent antisocial behaviour resulting from parties and raves.

Proposed restrictions:

  1. There shall be no unlicensed music events and/or raves to take place.
  2. No person shall remove, uproot, destroy or injure any tree, shrub or plant without the written permission of the Council. 
  3. No person shall be in possession of, consume or be involved in the sale of nitrous oxide, laughing gas or CO2.  This prohibition does not apply where the substance is used for a valid and demonstrable medicinal purpose or is given to an animal as a medicinal remedy.
  4. There shall be no playing of amplified music without the prior and express permission of the Council.
  5. There shall be no lighting of fires, stoves and/or naked flames on any equipment, without the prior and express permission of the Council.
  6. No vehicle shall enter the Exclusion Zone, this includes the operation of an engine or generator within the Exclusion Zone, without the prior and express permission of the Council.

Map of the proposed PSPO area

How would the PSPO be enforced?

Anyone causing the types of antisocial behaviour outlined in the PSPO could be liable for an ‘on the spot’ Fixed Penalty Notice of £100, which would need to be paid in 14 days. If the fine is not paid within 14 days, the person could be prosecuted. Fines can only be issued by the police or council enforcement officers and only in relation to the controls set out in the PSPO. 

How long would the PSPO last?

The maximum duration of a Public Spaces Protection Order is three years but they can last for shorter periods of time where more appropriate, with the option to extend at the end of those three years. We are proposing that the PSPO lasts for three years, at which point we would decide whether to renew it.

Why are we proposing the PSPO?

Wick Woodland is an area of woodland to the south of Hackney marshes.  

Hackney Marshes is internationally known as the spiritual home of Sunday league football, with 82 football, rugby and cricket pitches on North and South Marsh and Mabley Green.

Daubeney Fields is a park in the Kings Park ward of Hackney. The park sits between Daubeney Road and Kingsmead Way in E9 and has views over the Lee Navigation and Hackney Marshes to the east.

Mabley Green was recently transformed from a flat empty green space into an exciting landscaped park. The biggest transformation of the site was the creation of rolling hills and the planting of over 500 trees, which have already dramatically changed the character of the site and will provide valuable habitat for years to come.

Millfields Park is made up of 3 large open spaces around Lea Bridge and Chatsworth Road framed by avenues of mature plane and elm trees.

The Lea Navigation borders the park and links it to Springfield Park to the north and Hackney Marshes to the south.

From May 2020 to August 2021, Hackney Council received 74 complaints about unauthorised events at these locations. Council research suggests that the frequency of unauthorised events is much greater than the number of formal complaints received, with residents citing repeated incidents in particular over the summer months.

Complaints have raised concerns about large gatherings of sometimes hundreds of individuals, lasting for up to 48 hours, resulting in 

  • Noise from amplified music often until and beyond the early hours of the morning (disturbing residents and risking negative impacts on nesting birds and nocturnal wildlife)
  • Alleged supply and consumption of illegal drugs 
  • Associated littering including empty laughing gas canisters 
  • Open fires
  • Damage to the ecology through the creation of clearings, removal of newly planted trees and damage to the environment.  

Have your say

We want to understand your experiences of antisocial behaviour and unauthorised events or raves and to understand your views on the proposed PSPO.

Please complete the survey and provide us with your feedback.  

If you would prefer to complete a paper copy of the survey, please email consultation@hackney.gov.uk to request a paper survey.

FAQ

Does Hackney already have any PSPOs?
Yes. There is a borough-wide PSPO to tackle dog control and alcohol.

How would the PSPO be enforced?
Those carrying out antisocial behaviour outlined in the PSPO could be liable for an ‘on the spot’ Fixed Penalty Notice of £100 which would need to be paid in 14 days. Failure to pay the fine could result in prosecution. Fines would only be issued by the police or council enforcement officers and only in relation to the controls set out in the PSPO.

How long would the PSPO last?
We are proposing that the PSPO lasts for three years, at which point we would decide whether to renew it in consultation with residents.

Where can I find more information on PSPO?
The relevant section of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 regarding PSPOs can be viewed online.

How will the PSPO be advertised?
There will be signage in place at strategic locations within the area to advise of the order. It will also be published on our website.

What evidence do you have that the proposed PSPO is required in Wick Woodland, Hackney Marshes and surrounding areas?
The current Wick Woodland PSPO has been in place for three years. In that, time the number of complaints in respect of ASB from unauthorised events has reduced significantly, and there have been no complaints received in respect of the operation of the Order. No fixed penalty notices have been issued, to some extent, this is due to the compliance of the individuals when approached by the council and police. Hackney Enforcement Officers and Police Officers issue anti-social behaviour warnings prior to issuing FPNs in an effort to deal with the problem in a proportionate manner.

However, this has not stopped the antisocial behaviour in surrounding areas, which is why we are proposing to introduce a new Public Space Protection Order (PSPO).

The Council has received statements of support from residents, partners, user groups and key stakeholders as well as crime data and intelligence records. 

From May 2020 to August 2021, Hackney Council has received 74 complaints about unauthorised events at this location. Intelligence suggests that the frequency of unauthorised events is much greater than the number of formal complaints received, with residents citing repeated incidents in particular over the summer months.

Areas

  • Hackney Wick
  • Lea Bridge

Audiences

  • Residents

Interests

  • Community safety
  • Pollution
  • Parks & green spaces