Temporary preventative works on Paignton Green have started to secure the space ahead of the busy summer season.
The initial phase of works will include the installation of bollards, gates and boulders on Paignton’s North Green. The second phase of works will see similar measures being put in place around the Middle and South Green.
The decision by the Council to install protective measures comes ahead of a packed season of events taking place on Paignton Green.
The green is home to several large events such as the English Riviera Airshow and Children’s Week, both which make welcome returns this summer following the lifting of all COVID-19 restrictions.
The temporary structures, funded by a one-off £70,000 budget allocated following savings made in the Council’s 2020/21 budget, have been designed to help prevent and deter access and protect the site from unauthorised encampments, whilst supporting the delivery of events. The measures, co-designed with the Paignton Town Centre Community Partnership are expected to be in place until a new sea defence solution is identified as part of the ongoing works to develop a Paignton and Preston seafront Masterplan.
The majority of the first phase of works, due to be completed by Easter, are being carried out by SWISCo, and sub-contractors on behalf of Torbay Council.
Each year Paignton experiences problems with unauthorised access and encampments on the popular seafront location, which is not only costly for the Council to manage but causes disruption to local businesses and organisers of events.
The Council are currently exploring a more permanent solution for supporting the travelling community. The second phase of engagement for the Masterplan is due to start this month and will run throughout April and May.
In 2021 preventative measures were put in place to secure various sites around Torbay from unauthorised access. Locations such as Whiterock, Broadsands, Clennon Valley and Centenary Way at the Willows benefitted from measures such as gate repairs and new concrete bollards.
Cllr Christine Carter, Cabinet Member for Corporate and Community Services for Torbay Council, said; “These preventative measures will mean that we can avoid any potential disruption to Paignton Green during a busy summer event season.
“We do recognise that other public spaces around Torbay are used for unauthorised encampments, and we are working on establishing longer-term solutions that not only support the travelling community but also recognise the needs of the local community.
“The Council will continue to respond to unauthorised encampments on its land in accordance with the law.”
Louise Gilson, Chair of Paignton Town Centre Community Partnership, said; “We are passionate about ensuring Paignton is an attractive place for residents, local business owners and visitors. Being involved in co-designing these temporary measures means we’re able to demonstrate that issues that matter to the community are being heard and addressed. We’re looking forward to a busy summer of events that really bring Paignton to life.”
Learn more about the Paignton and Preston Seafront Masterplan via: https://www.torbay.gov.uk/paignton-and-preston-seafront-masterplan/
For more information on how Torbay Council deal with misuse of public spaces and unauthorised encampments visit: https://www.torbay.gov.uk/asb-environment-and-nuisance/
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