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Looe residents' fury at street ban on pot plants

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 08, 2012

  • One of the streets in Looe which the town council says poses a health and safety risk

  • Jane Read says the order from the town council is 'overkill'

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Council chiefs have banned residents in a picturesque street from placing flower pots outside their homes – over health and safety fears.

Green-fingered homeowners on a quiet residential street in Looe have been putting plants and flowers on their doorsteps for years. The pretty road is lined with colourful blooms in pots and tubs and has become a popular attraction for tourists in the South East Cornwall town.

But Looe Town Council has now told residents they must be cleared away by October 9 – or they will be removed.

The authority said the decision was made after a man slipped on a "slimey" patch of the pavement and injured his knee.

But residents have labelled the ruling "overkill" and says it shows "no common sense".

Resident Jane Read fumed: "It seems overkill. I don't see what health and safety issues could be caused by having plants in pots."

Another resident, Jill Thorn, 70, added: "The tourists come and take photographs of the plants because they look so beautiful.

"Why would the council want to get rid of something that the tourists enjoy?

"No-one from the town council has come to see us at all to explain this to us – we don't know what's going on."

Armand Toms, Cornwall councillor for East Looe, said the council had to take action after the man slipped.

He said: "We have had problems with the street for years with sweeping, cleaning and weeding. In some cases there were 30 or 40 pots with weeds growing out of them and we've got to be mindful of this.

"It came to a head recently when a local resident slipped over, as it was all slimy on the ground.

"We've got to do something before something else happens and we get taken to court."

Edith Coles, from the South East Cornwall Tourism Association agreed with the town council's actions.

She said: "Some pots contain dead plants and weeds and some have also encroached so much into the streets that vehicles cannot get down there to clean."

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  • ackedoff  |  October 09 2012, 6:38PM

    Kernowmaid, what you have just said confirms that this is not a Health and Safety issue but more to do with legislation regarding highways, roads etc and its wrong, by either the Town Council or CC Highways dept, to put a H&S tag on it As I have said before challenge it at the Myth Busters panel http://tinyurl.com/8opyrfy

  • kernowmaid  |  October 09 2012, 2:41PM

    The order is from Cornwall Council. Looe Town Council are going along with it. Cornwall Council Highways say that we cannot put anything on the highway - ie the land right outside our houses - including bins, recycling and pot plants. We cannot have hanging baskets - the conservation dept of Cornwall Council will not give us planning permission. Cornwall Council say the pots are encroaching on the highway and blocking roads - not sure how as the bin lorries get through with no problems....

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  • ackedoff  |  October 08 2012, 11:55AM

    as I have previously mentioned in another post there is not a regulation in any of the H&S legislation which affects hanging baskets or pot plants From reading in between the lines of the earlier story regarding this, the problem is more about the TOWN council getting worried about unkempt baskets/pots spoiling the look of their fair town and using H&S as the excuse I would urge any effected resident to contact the HSE's myth buster panel which has been set up specifically to challenge daft decisions such as this. Just google myth buster panel its easy to find and free!

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