I've actually been cycling past the very location, as its been developing, for several weeks now --- I have to admit, with the site being on the canal-side, it never once crossed my mind that it was Council-owned land as I (wrongly) assumed it would belong to Scottish Waterways.
It wasn't until this Thursday (the day of the story linked here) that I discovered it was Council-owned land, and that the site had already been removed/cleared.
... well, without going into every detail of the lengthy e-mail chain(s) I now have on the subject, it can probably be best summarised as follows:
- this was an uncultivated strip of land along the canal side
- there was no permission for any garden to be constructed
- but, that said, it didn't appear to be causing any harm or offence
- yet, several complaints were received by the Council about its presence
- Council Officers were thus made aware of its exact siting
- not known (I believe?) to the 'gardeners' was the fact that the piece of land had already been allocated for the siting of a picnic bench etc.
- when this was communicated to them, there appeared to be a willingness to re-locate the 'garden' to another, mutually-agreed location
- unfortunately, the 'garden' was removed before this dialogue has reached a conclusion
- senior Council staff have since apologised for the manner in which the garden was removed and offered to ensure a mutually-agreed, alternative location is found in the local area
- as best I can establish, this site-search is still underway
I'd hope some longer-term good can come out of the whole episode - but then I am the eternal optimist.
I'll blog on this again when I hear of definite developments on a new site.
I think that councils in particular suffer from a left-hand not knowing what the right-hand is doing problem.
Apart from the ongoing garden discussions do you think a wider internal communications review is needed re these types of decisions?
You could very well have a point there! Will give it some serious thought.
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