Controversial planters spark petition after traders’ fury
PUBLISHED: 10:17 04 September 2020 | UPDATED: 11:46 04 September 2020
The future of controversial planters in a town’s main square will be reviewed later this month as a petition against them has gathered more than 350 signatures.
Reepham Town Council said it would review the need for the flower troughs that have been put in Market Place after they sparked traders’ fury because of the loss of car parking spaces.
The planters were installed by Broadland District Council with the town council’s agreement in order to create safe, traffic free area where shoppers could queue and socially distance.
The petition against them was started by Hugh Ivins, a resident of nearby Whitwell, who said it was important the planters were removed.
Mr Ivins said: “I live just over a mile out of town so do rely on the need for parking.
“The petition was started to gather support and provide reasons other than just the loss of parking.
“The town council/Broadland were claiming only five out of 50 spaces were lost when in fact, within the square itself it is 12 spaces lost out of an official 36 spaces.”
The town council said it a statement the planters would be reviewed at its meeting on September 17.
In a statement, the council said: “It is acknowledged that the situation with Covid in June was very different from the situation that we are now in.
“When the decision regarding the planters was made, it was with the understanding that businesses had been fully consulted by Broadland District Council and that the measures proposed would benefit the community and its visitors.
“It is unfortunate that it has taken three months for these planters to arrive and many people feel they are now obsolete.”
King’s Arms pub owner Mark Armitage is one of the traders objecting to the planters. He said last month: “I think the early idea was to create some outside space [for people to sit] when Covid first became an issue.
“They’re now saying it’s for social distancing, but the queues at the shops have been very orderly, and they aren’t going to help.”
A Broadland spokesman said that well as the parking spaces in the Market Place there continued to be free parking in nearby Station Road and Stimpson’s Piece for customers.
The petition can be fund online at change.org: Remove the planters from Reepham Market Place
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