Failed Marble Arch Mound materials to be used on estate regeneration

By Jacob Phillips, Local Democracy Reporter

Parts of the Marble Arch Mound will be used to transform a London estate nine months after the failed tourist attraction was taken down.

Materials and trees featured on the £6million landmark will be used to build gardens and a play area at the Ebury estate in Pimlico.

The estate is set to be rebuilt and Westminster City council hopes the new gardens and play area will help provide more space for residents as building works take place around them.

 The failed Marble Arch Mound stripped down (Picture: Jacob Phillips)

A Westminster City council report said: “Working with the Lisson Green Tenants Association, two new community planters have been installed for residents to plant and grow their own vegetables.

“On Ebury, a temporary landscape and play space solution is being delivered that will offer more amenity space for local residents and remaining families during construction. Both the temporary and permanent landscaping is utilising materials and trees from the Marble Arch Mound.”

The Marble Arch Mound opened to widespread mockery last summer as plants began to fall off within hours. The hill was supposed to attract people back into the heart of the city and originally planned to charge visitors, although it was later made free.

Its grass quickly turned brown and it was dubbed a “pile of scaffolding” and “BTEC Eifel Tower” by visitors.

The council’s Tory deputy leader Melvyn Caplan, who was responsible for the project, resigned from his role after total costs nearly tripled from an initial forecast of £2m.

A report later found senior council officers hid details about how much money the mound would make and that there was a basic lack of project management.

Westminster City council last year approved plans to double the size of the Ebury Bridge estate to build 758 new flats. The regeneration scheme was first proposed by the council 13 years ago and it was given planning permission by councillors on April 20, 2021.

The 1930s red brick estate will be redeveloped in phases and residents will be moved to temporary housing before having the right to return. But the council is currently still trying to get 20 residents to leave their homes.

Failed Marble Arch Mound materials to be used on estate regeneration
Dead plants on the Marble Arch Mound (Picture: Jacob Phillips)

Residents in five of the six blocks on the estate don’t want to leave and the council has got a Compulsory Purchase Order so they have a “fail-safe position” to make sure they can still build the new homes.

Two residents are currently engaging with the council, 11 residents are “under offer” with agreed terms in place and seven residents are actively negotiating.

In a report, Westminster City council said it was confident it will be able to get all residents will volunteer to move out after arrangements are made.

Pictured top: The Marble Arch Mound being deconstructed (Picture: Jacob Phillips)

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