The following statement has been issued by Glastonbury Town Council in relation to tree planters located around the town.
The placing of tree planters in Glastonbury has received numerous comments from residents and is clearly controversial. The Town Council apologise unreservedly for the significant distress and upset this has caused. We undertook this project with the best of intentions,but must admit we have not got things right on this occasion.
The trees and planters are part of the Town Centre Refurbishment project, which also includes the extensive renovation of the town centre toilet block, new cycle racks, improved lighting of the Market Cross and the War Memorial and left luggage facilities installed near the Information Centre.
The Town Centre Refurbishment project is funded by a £100k Town Deal Accelerator Fund grant. This is a Government grant – which is separate to money raised through the Council Tax – and is limited to ‘capital’ items only and comes with the strict requirement that the money must be spent before a 31st March deadline.
The Town Council undertook an enormous amount of public engagement in 2017 through a Neighbourhood Plan consultation when the idea of planting trees in an urban environment was first suggested. The delivery of such a complicated project was further researched and whilst we acknowledge that the placement of some of the trees was not aesthetically pleasing or suitable, the principal of this project is well defined.
Planting trees in the ground in a town centre environment was not well received by providers of utility services, hence the decision by the Town Council to explore and invest in planters. The size of the planters is deliberate as this maximises the opportunity for the trees to establish and survive. Steel was considered by the Town Council to be the strongest material, which would outlast any alternatives.
Having listened to the concerns of residents, some of the planters now need to be relocated. Members of the community are encouraged to share their thoughts with the Town Council of alternative locations that could be considered.
25th March 2021