Council plan crackdown on Highbury Fields barbecues as calls for full ban continue

Highbury Fields. Photograph: Malc McDonald.

Islington Council is set to pass a byelaw introducing controls on the use of barbecues in Highbury Fields, following a legal battle with activists protesting over toxic air emissions three years ago.

The new powers, which the Town Hall took out to consultation with the public, will allow the council to formally restrict the area in which barbecues are permitted in the park, time-limiting the activity further to between 10am and 9pm.

However, activists remain unsatisfied with the measures, with the Town Hall in receipt of three objections to the ban not being complete, as well as concerns over the additional cost associated with the policing of barbecues on which the council will now embark.

Hackney Council banned disposable barbecues in London Fields last year, following concerns raised by the London Fire Brigade across the city around the increased risk of fire associated with their use.

The byelaw is due to be voted on at Islington’s full council meeting next week.

Cllr Claudia Webbe, executive member for environment and transport, said: “The consultation results clearly demonstrate public support for a byelaw to give the council the ability to better manage the use of barbecues in Highbury Fields, protecting the freedom of people who want to enjoy a barbecue while also taking into account local concerns, minimising the impact on residents and other park users.

“The byelaw will allow us to better manage the use of barbecues in the park in future, keeping them to a defined area and requiring that all barbecues be extinguished by 9pm.

“Allowing barbecues in our parks has been very popular. Most Islington residents don’t have any private outdoor space, and the byelaw will preserve their right to barbecue in Highbury Fields, as long as they do so responsibly, cleanly and safely.”