Palmerston Road planters are set to stay after all

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CONTROVERSIAL concrete planters that have been branded ‘ugly’ are set to stay in Southsea’s shopping district.

Eighteen months ago Portsmouth City Council spent £26,000 on seven permanent flower beds in Palmerston Road to help make the area more attractive.

But within months the planters became ruined by beer bottles, cigarettes and litter.

The idea of removing them completely was mooted by the council but officers are now recommending that councillors vote to keep them and improve them.

A recent public consultation concluded the majority of the businesses wanted the planters retained.

Just over half of residents agreed and wanted the planters improved.

Councillor Mike Hancock, who sits on the cabinet, said: ‘People have told us their views and the answer was they would like them kept but improved to prevent the abuses that have been going on.

‘What more can we do?

‘The report is going to committee and as far as I know the recommendation will be to keep them, but to do something pretty quickly to prevent the abuses.’

Cllr Hancock said using different varieties of plant may be looked at.

But Linda Symes, of Clifton Road, likened them to ‘sick buckets’ and was not pleased.

She said: ‘They are very unsightly. No plants ever grow in them for obvious reasons. They are so ugly.

‘In the original plans there were small trees, not these great big concrete bunkers.’

She said: ‘Having agreed with residents that it was a poor choice to put them there, unless they are going to cover the top so people can’t do anything, I can’t see what they can do to improve the situation because they are so near to the licensed premises.’

A council report states there will be ‘further dialogue’ before planters are looked at in Osborne Road.

Cllr Luke Stubbs, deputy Conservative group leader, said: In some respects, it is a matter of personal opinion and personal taste. They have water ingressed into the concrete and the plants are in a bad state. I don’t think they add to the street at all.’

Full pedestrianisation and a proposal to put a physical barrier across the road from 11am every day will also be discussed at the meeting tomorrow.