Market Place planters finally removed

The planters installed in Reepham Market Place have now been removed and parking spaces restored.

Photos: Hugh Ivins

The physical barriers were originally installed in mid-August as part of a Broadland District Council initiative to create safe spaces for shoppers to observe social distancing while queueing to enter some town centre stores.
Following pressure from residents and traders, the decision to remove the planters was made during the Reepham Town Council meeting in September, during which a petition with more than 500 signatures was presented.
The town council, under new chairman Paul Mitchell, set about organising their removal following consultation with local businesses, to see if a better place could be found for any of them.
The district council was unwilling to help while Covid restrictions were in place, so Matthew Wilkinson stepped in to reposition some of the planters around the two central signs in mid-November.
Broadland was again approached for financial assistance and, with help from district councillor Stuart Beadle, agreed to fund the planters' removal and assist with a flatbed trailer.
A contractor from Broadland arrived with a forklift on Thursday 3 December and, with the help of Mr Paul Mitchell and town clerk Jo Boxall, some more planters were repositioned.
A final effort was made with the help of Richard Lilwall and his teleporter on Tuesday 15 December, when all the remaining planters were moved off the parking areas.
With the agreement of the town council, some planters remain in the Market Place: outside the Bircham Centre and Flower Folk, with others on private land outside the Kings Arms, Norfolk Farm Shop & Deli and Bay Tree Interiors.
“The Market Place parking is now restored,” said Hugh Ivins, who organised the petition. “Thanks to all who helped in so many ways to get things back to normal soon as possible.”
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