Exeter’s Contentious £50k Parklets Spark Public Debate

Share This Post

In Exeter city centre, the recent introduction of two vibrant parklets has ignited a fervent debate, with critics slamming the installations as a wasteful expenditure and an eyesore reminiscent of something from Willy Wonka’s factory.

Costing a hefty £50,000, the two parklets, located in former parking spaces—one outside an independent vegetarian and vegan pizza establishment on Fore Street, and another adjacent to Exeter Library in Musgrave Row—have elicited sharp criticism since their inception. Funded through the government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund and overseen by InExeter, the city’s business improvement district, the parklets were intended to provide additional seating and expand communal areas within the city.

While the concept of parklets, aimed at transforming traditional parking spots into communal hubs, seemed promising, dissenting voices have emerged post-implementation. Critics have decried not only the appearance of the parklets but also expressed concerns over potential exacerbation of antisocial behaviour and their strategic placement within the cityscape.

A recent photograph captured a troubling scene—a pile of vomit near one of the parklets on Fore Street, presenting a negative image of the initial reception. In response to the backlash, the range of opinions within the community has been acknowledged but emphasised that the project underwent a rigorous competitive tender process last July to ensure optimal value for money in both design and construction.

Residents have taken to social media platforms like Facebook, with community groups such as Heavitree and Exeter Community United serving as forums for vocal dissent. One disgruntled commenter lamented, “What new horror is this? Absolutely hideous design,” encapsulating the sentiment echoed by many.

Comments condemning the parklets as an extravagant misuse of public funds and potential targets for vandalism abound, reflecting a prevailing sentiment of discontentment. Concerns regarding the aftermath of their installation, including the prospect of attracting street drinkers and exacerbating littering, have further fuelled the backlash.

Amidst the chorus of disapproval, however, pockets of support have emerged. Drawing parallels with similar installations in Bristol’s Clifton area, one observer praised the parklets as an extension of hospitality venues, fostering a convivial atmosphere without encroaching on pedestrian walkways. Another optimistically noted that the addition of seating on Fore Street could alleviate the challenge posed by its steep incline, enhancing the overall shopping experience.

In contrast to the detractors, a minority of residents have welcomed the parklets, envisioning them as catalysts for further urban revitalisation. Expressing hope for the pedestrianisation of Fore Street, one resident articulated a vision of a more pedestrian-friendly cityscape.

As Exeter grapples with the aftermath of the parklets’ divisive debut, the debate surrounding their efficacy and value to the community persists. While some remain steadfast in their condemnation, others see potential for positive transformation. The true litmus test lies in the evolution of public opinion and the tangible impact of these controversial installations on the fabric of Exeter’s urban landscape.

The fate of Exeter’s parklets hangs in the balance, awaiting further deliberation and, perhaps, adaptation to reconcile conflicting perspectives and foster a shared vision of communal space within the city centre.

Lauren Redford
Lauren Redfordhttps://newswriteups.com/
Journalist Lauren Redford is a seasoned business journalist who focuses on regional areas throughout the United Kingdom. With her expertise and dedication, Lauren brings insightful coverage of local communities and their economic landscapes. With a meticulous approach and a passion for storytelling, she uncovers stories that resonate with readers and offers a deeper understanding of the business world. Lauren's commitment to delivering accurate and engaging news makes her a valuable member of the News Write Ups team. lauren@newswriteups.com

Related Posts

Stolen Bikes Now Top Priority for Avon and Somerset Police Following Increase in Thefts

Responding to a significant rise in bike thefts, particularly...

£6m Road Repair Budget Underspent, Council Discloses

A recent report presented to councillors has revealed that...

Residents Demand Action on Road Safety Amidst Growing Concerns in Birmingham

Residents living along Yardley Wood Road in Birmingham have...

Explorer Guy Deacon to Share Remarkable Journey in Wrexham Event

A remarkable tale of resilience and adventure is poised...