Imperial Gardens railings receives mixed reception
RAILINGS should only be put up around a historic Cheltenham park if they are historically accurate, according to members of the town's Civic Society.
Members have said there is little point in reinstalling the metal barriers around Imperial Garden unless they are the same as the ones taken down during the Second World War.
The call comes after borough council planning officers said the height of the railings had to be much shorter than the originals.
An amendment has been put in by charity Friends of Imperial Square Heritage and Conservation (Fishac) to change the planning permission granted to them last year to put up the railings.
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Planners at Cheltenham Borough Council agreed then to allow the charity to put them up, but since have asked the applicants to reconsider the size.
The original plans were for 1.8m high railings, although the amendment means they cannot be taller than 1.5m.
Vice-chairman of Cheltenham Civic Society, Douglas Ogle, said he wanted to make sure the railings would be historically accurate.
He said: "I see no point in reinstating the railing unless they were done historically as they were.
"I think it is important that it is done right. If we are going to reconstruct it, it should be as accurate as possible."
Last week, other members of the group gave mixed views on the amendment.
A report by the group said: "Some of us thought the proposed reduction in height of the railings was a good thing, and would make them fit in better with other railings around the Promenade.
"Others of us thought that historical accuracy was important – the railings should be restored to the exact status qu."
Bob Keevil, chairman of Fishac, said: "The borough council asked us to go back to the plans and look at them again.
"We've done what we can do and we've done it with a historical specialist.
"What we wanted to do was to make sure it was acceptable to the people of Cheltenham in this historical context, and also to the planners, following their advice and request."