Traders in Green Lanes dub steel planters "big ashtrays"

By Clare Casey in Local People

EVERYTHING is not rosy in Palmers Green after six steel planters were installed to “brighten up” a busy road.

Enfield council spent £8,200 on big steel boxes that run along a stretch of Green Lanes as part of a project the local authority said would make the area “more attractive for everyone”.

But shopkeepers, estate agents and cafe owners whose businesses look onto the planters dotted along the pavement are far from happy.

Many say they are “ugly” and “an eyesore” and rather than housing beautiful blooms they are already being used by smokers as ashtrays.

Estate agent Abbas Kaya, tried to challenge Daniel Anderson, the cabinet member for environment, when the politician went along to Green Lanes last Thursday to pose for a photo with the planters.

Mr Kaya said: “I asked him, ’why were we not consulted?’ If we had been I would have said the money should be spent on levelling the faulty paving slabs instead. But he didn’t want to listen.

“They are ugly, and already they are used by the people coming out of the pub to put their empty glasses in and their cigarette butts.”

The council said the steel planters, cast in a ‘pearl copper’ colour, would create a permanent floral feature and screen pedestrians’ view of vehicles travelling along the busy road.

Mr Anderson said: “Enfield is rightly proud of its beautiful greenery, and these planters, which will contain such plants as thyme, sage and oregano will enhance the look and feel of the area making it an even more vibrant and attractive place to live, work and visit."

Andri and Nicolas Panayi, have run Pola Florist, on Green Lanes for 20 years.

Andri, said: “The planters are far too big. They will get in the way of buggies and blind people. They should be long and narrow and not so big.

“Flowers would have been nice but not these and they have put trees in them, whose going to prune them? They are completely wrong for that spot.

“Nobody consulted, nobody asked us what they thought. It’s typical of Enfield council.”

But an Enfield council spokesman insisted that people were consulted.

He said: “These bright and attractive planters were installed at the direct request of local residents who had asked for trees to be planted in this area to make it greener and more attractive.

“Because trees could not be physically planted in these locations residents were instead consulted on whether to install planters in the area, the majority of people asked were in favour of their installation.

“The planters are designed to screen pedestrians’ view of vehicles travelling along Green Lanes, while improving the appearance of the area itself.”

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