At the first full council meeting of the newly elected administration held on Wednesday 21st June Councillor Jackie Meade reflected the impatience of the people of the district when she asked Council Leader Jim Martin, “When will the hideous hoardings be removed?”
Not yet, as Jim Martin explained, “Following the ground investigations carried out for the Princes Parade development, the council now have a better understanding of the contamination present within the buried landfill material. As such, the site cannot simply be reopened to the public, as the council has a duty of care to protect residents and visitors to Princes Parade from coming in direct contact with the contaminants. At this time, I can give you no definitive date for the removal of the hoardings.
“However, officers will present a report to Cabinet in July outlining the resources required to establish what work the Council needs to undertake to make the site safe and remove the hoardings… please note: I am counting the days!”
Councillor Meade then continued, “I know the residents are extremely happy that we’re possibly looking at rewilding and turning Princes Parade back into a public space, or maybe when we get to the time where we can open it again could we work with local schools for them to maybe put posters together and actually have their own designs and maybe have an input into what they would like to see on Prince’s Parade?”
Councillor Martin replied, “Yes, is the answer, yes, yes and yes to to your three questions. The papers that are referred to will also include the next steps in terms of opening the consultation for a potential parkland and open space on – I’m reluctant to to say the word park because that very much depends on the density of the contaminants in particular areas – but certainly rewilding open space.
“For me, the key thing is to get views across the space, so we’ll get the hoarding down and replace it with lower level fence so that people can actually see across the site.”