South London park gets £6m makeover

Burgess Park
Image caption The park will have a better layout and colourful gardens, says the mayor of London

A south London park is to undergo a £6m transformation nearly 70 years after work first started.

Burgess Park, in Walworth, will undergo changes such as improved entrances, an expanded and improved lake and a variety of different wildlife habitats.

The makeover was given the go-ahead by Southwark Council's planning committee.

It will complete work started in 1943, when the park was first created. There have been changes since but this will be the first large-scale improvement.

'Once in a lifetime'

The park received £2m from the mayor's Priority Parks scheme in March 2009 and a further £4m from the New Deal for Communities, now Creation Trust.

Earlier this week, Councillor Barrie Hargrove, at Southwark Council, said: "This planning approval is a massive step towards a new and exciting Burgess Park.

"The opportunities presented by these plans come around once in a lifetime, and this is great news not just for users of Burgess Park but for Southwark as a whole."

The mayor of London Boris Johnson said the park will be transformed with "better layout, colourful gardens and wildlife areas for local people and visitors alike to enjoy".

Other changes include removing redundant roads and pathways.

It is hoped that the first phase of the park's improvements will be completed by March 2012.

The £6m revitalisation project is in addition to more than £1.2m that has been invested in the Chumleigh Gardens open space, play area and cafe in the centre of the park.

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