Havering Council will be making upgrades to five of the borough’s town centres over the next four months, improving the look and feel of these public spaces for businesses, shoppers and residents.

This work follows on from a series of consultations held last year, which asked residents for their comments and suggestions on what changes and upgrades they would like to see in five of Havering's town centres - Collier Row, Elm Park, Hornchurch, Rainham and Upminster.

Over 2,200 people responded to the consultation, plotting their suggestions and ideas on an interactive map for each town centre.

By far the most common request was for additional greenery and green spaces for shoppers and residents to enjoy. 

In response to this, initial works will include:

  • Hanging baskets within four of the town centres
  • Additional planting within Rainham town centre
  • Parklets (seating areas surrounded by planting and greenery) in each town centre
  • 'Living Wall' installations in Collier Row, Elm Park and Rainham.

Each of these additions will not only enhance the look and feel of the town centre, but will also help absorb pollutants to improve the local air quality.

Future improvements will also see the lamp columns within each town centre repainted, as well as designs for additional street lighting improvements at the stairwells within Elm Park.

Feasibility studies are also underway to reduce street clutter within each town centre, which will see redundant street furniture removed to help to improve the pedestrian experience and the appearance of the high street.

This will include pedestrian wayfinding signage for each town centre.

Councillor Dilip Patel, Deputy Cabinet Member for Business Recovery, said:

“These have been a tough few years for our borough’s businesses, especially those high street shops and hospitality venues that had to make huge changes to the way they serve customers.

“As we move out of the pandemic, there has never been a better time to invest in our town centres, improving the look and feel to revitalise these cornerstones of our communities – both for the businesses that trade there and the customers that use them.

“So I urge everyone to come back to your local high streets, enjoy the new spaces we’re creating and the work that’s still to come, and show some love for Havering’s shops.” 

These are the first in a series of improvements to our local town centres and high streets over the next few years. Longer-term actions for each town centre are currently being compiled.

This includes a Walking and Cycling Strategy, which will set out a long-term programme for improving cycling and walking infrastructure across the borough and town centres.

The strategy will contribute towards the Council’s target of 65% of residents walking, cycling or using public transport by 2041.

In addition to these works, be on the lookout for our revitalised Love Havering Shops campaign, encouraging local residents to shop local and share some love for their high streets. 

Published: 23 March 2022