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Public mystified by disappearing 'planters'

Jane Witherspoon

Reporter:

Jane Witherspoon

LOCAL people have been mystified as to why the large street planters, bought at considerable cost to ratepayers, have vanished from the Ballymena townscap.

Many members of the public have been contacting the Guardian to enquire what has happened the planters and whether they will return to the streets.

The large containers, which were added to the town centre as part of the £4million public realm scheme were initially the subject of public scorn but by early June many of them had been filled with blooms, adding some colour and vibrant appearance to the town.

So, when the best of the planters with superb floral displays were taken away, virtually overnight, many locals were puzzled.

However it must be admitted that some of the planters - originally dubbed ‘skips’ by local people, were in a poor state or repair.

When the Guardian contacted the Council to ask if they were gone for good, they responded by saying the planters had been taken to a Council yard to be replanted, but will be returned to the town centre when this is complete.

Eagle-eyed members of the public have also been asking why the planters had been moved from the original storage area at the site of the old Wellington Street church. Council simply said they are now being stored at a Council yard.

Meanwhile people have also been concerned as to the whereabouts of the original town centre bandstand.

The plan for this was for it to be re-established in the People's Park, however this has not yet happened.

When the Guardian contacted Council for a statement, they said: “We are delighted with the success to date of Harmony Hub – our borough’s newest and state-of-the-art outdoor entertainment venue.

“Harmony Hub has showcased a wide range of talented local artists since it opened earlier this year and we look forward to welcoming more great performances and attractions."

Speaking about the original bandstand, the Council confirmed they have plans for it.

“The old bandstand was carefully dismantled so it can be preserved and relocated to the People’s Park.

“We are currently working on plans for this installation and more information will be made available in due course.”

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