Thursday, 26 October 2017

Royal Pavilion Gardens

It comes as no surprise that the grade II listed Royal Pavilion Gardens have been put on the Heritage at Risk Register. It has been evident for several years that the Gardens are losing the battle with the sheer weight of people using them, and the seemingly growing antisocial night-time behaviour. 

Being on the register means that the specific issues facing the gardens can be openly identified and provides the opportunity for working with Historic England and others to find solutions, such as through a Conservation Management Plan. It also means that there are greater opportunities for access to funding for restoration and improvement schemes, particularly from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Large areas of grass alongside paths never recover

Low attractive fencing used effectively in some place

Some problems are easy to identify and the only alternative to ever- widening paths would seem to be the installation of fencing. This already seems to be effective in some parts of the Gardens. The fencing need not be purposed to prevent access to grassed areas but simply to discourage casual straying from the paths.


Overflowing bins
To cope with night-time anti-social behaviour the only option would seem to be making the perimeter secure and preventing entrance at night between times to be decided. Luckily the gardens are fairly well enclosed already and the amount of boundary fencing needed would not be prohibitive. Clearing the gardens at closing time would require an ongoing expenditure.

The council has appointed Blackboys-based landscape specialists Chris Blandford Associates to prepare a Conservation Plan and 10 year Management Plan for the garden. But there is no need to wait for their report before doing what is obvious.

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