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Claims that giant plant tubs spoil new look street

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Claims that giant plant tubs spoil new look street

A ROW is heating up over ‘obnoxious’ planting tubs introduced to residential streets in Dumfries as part of a regeneration project.

Angry residents gathered at a meeting on Tuesday to protest over the works in the Queen Street area and hand over a petition with more than 80 signatures calling for the planters’ removal.
Vanda Hamilton said: “It’s a shame because the regeneration works have been doing really well.”
Critical of planters ranging in size to ‘colossal’, Vanda added: “All of the sudden there’s these big red tubs that look like something out of a fairground.”
Vanda notes three large and one smaller planter in Cumberland Street, and four large and two smaller planters in McLellan Street.
And claiming the bid to introduce greenery has taken away car parking spaces, she argues they now pose a parking hazard.
Between 50 and 60 people were estimated at Tuesday’s meeting, which featured representatives of Sustrans and the Council.
Nith Ward’s Jack Groom was among councillors present, and he said: “I thought it was obvious that there was practically no one that was in favour of those large planters.”
He added: “They’re so out of keeping with the area, it’s untrue.”
Wider regeneration work totalling £800,000 has included new homes, bringing empty properties back into use, grants for new railings and resurfacing of roads and pavements.
But suggesting the largest planters cost £1500 each, he said: “They spent all that money on the surface and they’re going to cover it with these obnoxious planters?
“What’s underneath cost an absolute fortune, I’m led to believe.”
Dumfries and Galloway Council say work was halted on Wednesday morning, following the meeting.
A spokesman said: “No further action will be taken until a decision is reached with all concerned about the most appropriate way forward.”
The council say it and Sustrans have undertaken ‘extensive’ consultation since November 2012, with information circulated to all houses and business on the proposed planter designs, colour and positioning.
And a spokesman said: “It is disappointing that it appears a minority has chosen to hold discussions through the press and provide false information, rather than engage with the continuous consultation process aimed at delivering what has been a significant regeneration of the area.”

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