Twenty trees in Broadstairs' Pierremont Park are threatened with the axe in order to make way for a controversial new £2 million community centre in Broadstairs' historic Pierremont Park. Norman Thomas of pressure group, the Thanet Action Group, said there is huge anger among local people at the proposal. He said: "People are outraged by the whole idea. Pierremont is an incredibly small park – losing twenty trees will scalp the place."
The Trust who recently won planning permission to build the new centre have stated that they will replace the trees by planting semi-mature ones – but Mr Thomas denied this will be any compensation for the destruction proposed. "The only places the new plantings can take place will be in open ground used for games. They won't last five minutes. The council has given the go-ahead to nothing less than a desecration of one of Broadstairs' few remaining green public spaces. This isn't just an issue for Broadstairs," Mr Thomas added. "Thanet as a whole has lost vast numbers of trees and green spaces in recent years, mostly to private development. But this is being funded by our own councils – Broadstairs Town Council, Thanet District Council and Kent County Council – all putting our money into the destruction of a piece of much loved public space. This is environmental vandalism of the worse kind – committed by our elected representatives, with our money.
Anger over the new proposal has led to the revival of the Thanet Action Group, first set up to oppose the Westwood Cross shopping centre, of which Mr Thomas was one of the founding members. The demonstration will take place at 11am on Sunday 6th March, with people meeting in the wooden shelter in the park. Mr Thomas said: "If possible, people should bring placards and ribbons to put round the trees, but above all anyone who wants to save our park should just come to make their voices heard."
More information – Norman Thomas, 01843 604253 THANET ACTION GROUP 11 Grosvenor Road, Broadstairs, KENT CT10 2BT