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Richmond Green bollard plan put out to pasture
7:10am Thursday 5th September 2013 in News
A project to restore Richmond Green and reinstate historical bollards has been curbed by the council following a lack of support in a public consultation.
The idea to erect posts painted with the Queen’s crest and connecting railings was put forward by Friends of Richmond Green (Forg) and the council had set aside £5,000 from its civic pride fund in support of the project.
Campaigners felt the idea was a waste of money and would hinder access to the greens. They circulated posters in pubs around the greens, which their critics said misrepresented the project.
Almost 80 per cent of people who replied to the council’s public consultation were against the project, which was meant to commemorate the diamond jubilee.
A campaign called Campaign Against Bollards was championed by nearby residents John Coates and Laurence Bain, who collected more than 500 signatures on a petition to stop the project.
Mr Bain said: “The decision not to proceed with the plan is most welcome and entirely appropriate, given the lack of support for it.
“We trust that the two open spaces will now continue to have free, unhindered access for future generations to enjoy.”
Forg had drummed up more than £100,000 in support for the project by way of grants and donations, a record amount for a project of this kind.
It held AGMs on the green where more than 95 per cent of people supported the proposals, which would have seen installation of the bollards as well as improvements to the fountain.
Forg chairman Vivien Harris said: “Forg is naturally disappointed with the results of the public consultation although not surprised in light of the alarmist and misleading campaign against the proposals.
“We regret the loss of a unique opportunity to renovate Richmond Green for the benefit of future generations financed primarily from local donations.
“The consultation outcome is a real setback in terms of the green and its refurbishment, and the more frustrating given the generosity of the pledges received.”
Richmond Council said there had been unhelpful confusion created around what the scheme would look like.
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