Palm trees go in £2.5m town centre street revamp
PALM trees have been given the chop in regeneration works at one of Torquay's busiest shopping areas.
Workers have sawed through the plants in the roadside planters. It is part of a proposed five-year, three-phase £2.5million scheme to revamp the shopping area.
Barry Buxton, former chairman of the Torbay in Bloom action group for Torquay, said it was a shame the palm trees had been hacked.
"It is sad after we worked so hard to get the planters and tended them with tender loving care, but I understand they were too difficult to transplant. I can understand the space is needed to make the street function better."
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The revamp scheme started last week and will involve temporary road closures and alterations to bus services while work is carried out. The 140-metre section of Fleet Street which will be improved is between The Strand and KFC.
Block paving that was originally laid in 1989 will be removed and will be replaced with granite paving similar to the paving already used in Union Street.
A two tone colour surface with tactile paving to assist people with visual impairments will be laid to create a clear division between the road surface used by buses and delivery vehicles and the area for pedestrians.
Other enhancement work will be carried out to provide more space for pedestrians and to improve facilities for people waiting to catch buses.
A Torbay Council spokesman said: "Work has recently started on the first phase of a scheme to regenerate Fleet Walk. Part of the design, which was consulted on with residents and local businesses, includes the removal of the planters to open up the walkway areas. "The palms within the planters are Corderlines, forming a shrubbery area, and are not the large Phoenix Palms. They would be impossible to remove intact as their roots have spread throughout the planters. However, some of the smaller plants have been offered to local businesses."
This part of the scheme is scheduled for completion by the middle of June. The next two phases of the scheme are subject to funding being allocated in future budgets.