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Hingham green scheme shelved

PUBLISHED: 14:56 11 February 2008 | UPDATED: 14:24 14 July 2010

A village green enhancement scheme that divided a local community has been shelved by the county council, and may never go ahead.

Over the past 30 years, the grassed areas that make up the Fairland in the centre of Hingham, have been badly eroded by vehicles, and the £80,000 scheme which was designed to reduce traffic dangers and relieve congestion.

A village green enhancement scheme that divided a local community has been shelved by the county council, and may never go ahead.

Over the past 30 years, the grassed areas that make up the Fairland in the centre of Hingham, have been badly eroded by vehicles, and the £80,000 scheme which was designed to reduce traffic dangers and relieve congestion.

The proposals, which involved removing a road, grassing it over, amalgamating smaller sections of green and putting in new parking bays, were backed by the town council who voted in 2002 to contribute £9,000 towards the costs. Approval for a land swop to enable the scheme to proceed was granted in 2005, following a public inquiry, despite local objections from residents that the new layout would spoil the scenic beauty of the conservation site, and destroy its character.

However, the town council has now changed its stance - following the elections last May, and the current members have serious reservations about the project.

“The view of the town council, last time it was discussed, is that we want to keep the keep the greens as they have been for hundreds of years, and support the heritage of the town,” explained chairman Roger Marston.

“There were also concerns raised about safety as they were not going to put in any footpaths, and if the work went ahead we might have problems. So the town council has voted against it.”

Mr Marston said the possibility of putting in kerbing to protect the greens is now being explored, but he thought this plan was unlikely to receive funding from the highways authority.

County council spokesman, John Birchall, said the enhancement project was a joint initiative with the town and district councils, but it will not go ahead if one of the partners has changed their views.

“We don't wish to proceed against the wishes of the current town council and the scheme that was being developed has been shelved,” he added.

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