One of five controversial town centre seats is to be removed and another, due to be installed, will not be sited at all.
Dubbed an eyesore of fly-tipping proportions, the £90,000 Parklets have caused consternation since they were placed in the precinct at Dover last month.
Made from recycled plastic from the sea and sporting a bland light brown colour, they were supposed to attract more people to the downtrodden town centre as it comes out of the country’s third lockdown.
But Kent County Council was slammed for buying into the scheme – not least because the combined seats and planters look like dumped cardboard boxes or “a plywood project gone wrong” – but because they had not consulted with the public first.
Delighted Adeline Reidy of the Castle Street Area Society, campaigned against the parklets at picturesque Castle Street.
She had said they would spoil every photo taken in the street, but now she heralded the promise of their removal last week as “good news”.
What’s more an email confirming the scrapping of the planned parklet at Cherry Tree Avenue was heralded as “more good news” by her. That one was awaiting installation.
She said: “It’s a conservation area with listed buildings. They looked like cardboard boxes.
“They are quite popular in London in precinct areas where young people can meet outside bars.
“Castle Street is the main street to the Market Square. We have juggernauts going down here!”
Criticism of KCC’s handling came from members of the public on social media and politicians.
The scheme was likened to the failed bus and cycle line at Maison Dieu Road that was painted in without consultation last summer where the authority had a pot of money to spend to encourage green travel.
Blasted as ill thought out, it caused confusion among motorists needing cross into the lane to turn left onto Castle Avenue and Godwin Road. Further up the road, buses had to come out of the lane to enter the right hand lane to turn tight into the terminus at Pencester Road.
In a letter to Michael Payne, KCC’s member for transport, Cllr James Back said: “I have to inform you that there are nearly 700 Dover residents object to these monstrosities and almost every DDC councillor.
“I think the fact you chose to instal these parklets without consultation with DDC or residents was an arrogant decision and I’m also sure the large amount of money spent on them could have been spent elsewhere, as with the bus/cycle lane fiasco.”
The news of their removal was announced on facebook on Thursday by Cllr Nigel Collor who sits on KCC.
He said: “Following a meeting this afternoon in which Pauline Beresford and I dug our heels in, KCC officers have agreed to remove the diabolical parkley in Castle Street as soon as practical. This follows on from us listening to the majority of our community.”
Kent County Council has been asked to comment.
They were bought with a mixture of public and private money administered through the Kent Lane Rental Highway Innovation Fund and through the Local Growth Fund (LGF) allocated to the South East Local Enterprise Partnership.
Two other sets are already in place in Biggin Street, Dover, one outside the former McDonald’s restaurant and the other outside the B&M store and there is one in High Street.
None of these are finished and await artwork.
Read more: All the latest news from Dover