Community garden would 'waste taxpayers money'

PUBLISHED: 08:21 23 September 2010

A COUNCIL has been criticised for trying to “force” a community garden on residents who have branded it as a “waste of taxpayer’s money”.

Homeowners in Lukins Drive, Great Dunmow, indicated in an independent survey, seen by The Broadcast, that they do not want a communal garden initially proposed by Uttlesford District Council.

Some residents have also reacted angrily at having their children branded as ‘vandals’ and a ‘general nuisance’ – despite only playing ball games on a grassy area.

In total 44 residents out of 50 answered ‘no’ to the question, ‘Do you think that the construction of a communal garden on the green is a good use of public money in today’s harsh economic climate?’

After a number of complaints however, Uttlesford District Council has moved to calm the situation, saying that the garden would not in any way be forced on residents.

A spokesman said: “The council has been engaging with residents to establish the best way to make use of the play area on the street.

“It is not foisting anything, but has instead worked with them to establish what they feel would be the best solution.”

A meeting was held last Wednesday (September 15) and attended by over 35 residents. They were presented with four options on how to move a project forward and also invited to come up with their own ideas.

The majority agreed to allow a gate and a fence to be put up, but not alter the way the play area is being used.

The idea of a communal garden originally came from within the council-run community safety partnership, which couples the council with the police.

It wrote to residents after PCSO Glenn Braden gathered people’s thoughts and the issues of ball games, vandalism and anti-social behaviour was highlighted.

With recommendations from residents he proposed fencing the area off, but this translated into a communal garden and the council began asking residents to become ‘friends of the community garden’ to help water plants discourage misuse.

Now the project will go back to the drawing board and be reviewed in six months time.

DOES Lukins Drive need a communal garden or should it be left alone? E-mail us at editor@dunmow-broadcast.co.uk.

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