Last updated: 1 December 2023

Next review: 1 December 2024

What is a parklet?

Parklets transform kerbside road space into public open space and provide chances to activate streets, create more vibrant neighbourhoods, and improve air quality. They are public green spaces or rest areas that include features such as seating, planting, games, and information boards. Whilst small in size parklets can have a big impact on the surrounding environment.

Community parklets are designed, installed, and maintained by residents, but serve as a public space that is accessible to all. Parklets are introduced with a 12 month trial period. They are monitored through feedback from the local community (online), and observations and inspections from Council Officers.

Parklet programmes have been created in cities around the world as a way to support community-driven projects that allow people to use streets differently. These programmes support creative spaces that add ‘people places’ to the public right of way.

To find out more about Parklets, please see the parklets tool kit guide (PDF) from Living Streets.

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Parklet on Gloucester Road

Getting involved

We are currently accepting applications based on the programme guidelines. The Council offers a grant of up to £250 to cover costs associated with developing and creating the parklet. Your application will go through the following stages:

Stage 1:

  • Submit your application and required documents using the online form
  • We will review your initial application

Stage 2:

  • You will have a meeting with a Council Officer and they will visit the site
  • You will submit your final requirements, such as a detailed design and maintenance plan
  • We will review the final application and detailed design for approval to proceed with the construction

Stage 3:

  • Local residents will be notified and parklet construction will begin
  • Once construction is completed, it will be signed off by a Council Officer

For more information, please see our frequently asked questions. If you have any feedback, queries, or questions please get in touch with us by emailing parklets@walthamforest.gov.uk  

How to apply

Our community parklet scheme is open to all residents over the age of 18.

Residents can apply and be responsible for the delivery and maintenance of their own community parklet. Parklets will be in place of existing kerbside road space. In order to ensure your application is successful please follow the steps below carefully.

Stage 1:

  • Find out more about community parklets through our guidance documents: 
    • Things to consider (PDF). As a parklet sits on the public carriageway there are a number of factors that need to be considered. This is to ensure both, the success of the parklet and the safety of those using it.
    • Design guidance (PDF). These principles will help to ensure your parklet is enjoyed whilst conforming to all health and safety requirements. 
    • Neighbourhood support form (PDF). To give a parklet the best chance of succeeding, it is important to ensure the local community supports the proposal. We ask applicants to demonstrate they have discussed their proposal with their neighbours and got their support. A completed "Neighbourhood support form" will need to be presented alongside the application, including at least 10 signatures.
    • Site notice template (PDF). Display the site notice within the area of the proposed site to inform the community of the parklet application you have submitted.
    • Application checklist (PDF)
  • Submit your initial application with supporting documents using the link below:

Stage 2:

  • We will review the initial application and draft design
  • You will have a meeting with a Council Officer and they will visit the site
  • Following this, you will need to create and submit:
    • Detailed design: specific dimensions of all elements and arrangement of furniture, any special features, planting and materials to be used.
    • Maintenance plan (guidance PDF): parklet hosts manage the maintenance and upkeep of their parklets. At this stage, a formal maintenance plan will need to be submitted. 
    • Risk assessment template (word file). Parklet hosts must demonstrate they have thought about and made efforts to reduce the risks associated with the operation of a parklet.
    • Evidence of public liability insurance (example PDF). You will need public liability insurance that covers you as the parklet keeper. This insurance should be for up to £5 million of third party claims. You don’t need this cover to make your initial application. You should plan to get it in the event your application is progressed.
    • Construction method statement (PDF)

Stage 3:

  • We will review the final application and the detailed design.
  • Once you have the approval to continue, we will formalise the reallocation of the road space.
  • A notification letter to other residents regarding the construction of the parklet would be distributed where appropriate.
  • Once construction is complete, there will be a site inspection after which, a Council Officer will sign off on the completed parklet. Quarterly reviews will then take place during the 12 month trial period.
  • Submit receipts of associated costs (up to £250) by emailing parklets@walthamforest.gov.uk after the parklet has been installed.

Frequently asked questions

Do parklets require permits?

A parklet requires a parking suspension, that will be provided by the council and displayed on the street.

How do you suspend the use of the road to allow for a parklet to be built?

The area where the community parklet will be located will be covered by a parking suspension notice. This both prohibits vehicles from parking in the parklet designated spaces as well as providing a legal basis for the parklet to be located on the carriageway.

Are parklets open to the public?

Yes, parklets are public spaces and as such should be both accessible to the public and offer benefits to the community and visitors in the area.

Who pays for a parklet?

Community parklets receive a one off grant fund from Waltham Forest Council for up to £250. The grant will be paid to the host resident following installation and the submission of receipts to Council Officers evidencing the associated expenditure. The grant amount will equal that of the receipts (up to £250). Any purchases where a receipt cannot be presented will not be settled. Any additional costs are to be covered by the host resident.

In order for the host resident to receive the grant payment, they must provide a redacted bank statement to the Council. This should contain their name, address, sort code, and account number, as per stage 3.

Do parklets have to comply with the health and safety requirements?

Yes. Parklets must comply with all current health and safety, equality, and accessibility legislation. They must also comply with the specific requirements of this programme found in our design guidelines.

Can parklets be removed?

Parklets may need to be temporarily or permanently removed under certain circumstances. The council reserves the right to remove part or all of the parklet. This is usually for street improvements, utility work, emergencies, violation of the agreement and/or permit. It also includes other outstanding circumstances deemed necessary by the council.

I am interested in creating a community parklet, what things do I need to consider?

Parklets should provide the widest possible benefit to the people who might use them; this includes residents, visitors, and passers-by. They can be places for people to socialise, rest, for children to play. They should seek to enhance the public realm through the greenery, seating, notice boards, interactive activities, and active travel facilities.

Parklets work best in places where people walk. You want people to notice your parklet and use it, so think about the area and what will attract people to enjoy the space. Think about what people will be doing near your parklet. People may be walking to and from school or travelling to local shops. You should consider where or why they might like to stop for a while.

Safety is paramount when considering the implementation of a parklet. Avoid steep inclines, trip hazards, and locations too close to junctions and corners, and ensure clear sightlines for people walking and cycling are maintained. 

Who do I contact at the council about parklets?

If you have any questions, please email parklets@walthamforest.gov.uk