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Spalding Johnson Drinking Fountain plans withdrawn - but only for tweaks



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Plans to put the historic Johnson Drinking Fountain in Spalding’s Ayscoughfee Gardens will be resubmitted once details are ironed out.

Leading councillors have officially withdrawn their proposal for the structure - which had been submitted to South Holland District Council’s own planning department.

However, Coun Rodney Grocock said that the move is just a temporary step so that tweaks can be made to the documents - and vowed the plan is still to site the fountain in the grounds of the Spalding hall.

South Holland district councillors Rodney Grocock, Peter Coupland and Liz Sneath at the proposed location of the Johnson Drinking Fountain. (55580409)
South Holland district councillors Rodney Grocock, Peter Coupland and Liz Sneath at the proposed location of the Johnson Drinking Fountain. (55580409)

Coun Grocock said: “I withdrew it the other day because I wasn’t happy.

“It went in a little bit quickly and there was a little bit of information missing.

“It will be going back in very very soon - it’s only being tweaked.”

One detail to be updated includes the fact that the plans mention shrubs when the fountain will actually have flowers planted nearby.

Coun Grocock said the issues may have resulted from a number of different departments being involved at the council.

Members of the cabinet had commissioned a report from architects Oglesby & Limb to explore whether the fountain should go to Ayscoughfee - where it was from the 1950s until 2018 - or Hall Place, its original home where it stood from 1874.

Spalding and District Civic Society had launched a petition calling for the fountain to return to the town centre - although not necessarily in Hall Place - and attracted more than 400 signatures.

Coun Grocock said the architect’s report included advice from Historic England - and that the decision to place the fountain on the site of the former paddling pool is therefore based on the ‘highest level’ of expert advice.

Coun Grocock said: “It’s only ever been in two locations - the town centre and Ayscoughfee.

“The conversation other people were starting about putting it here and there was never going to be looked at favourably.

“It’s only been in two locations and it’s got to go in one of them.”

The civic society had hoped that the withdrawal was going to lead to a re-think on where to put the fountain.

It’s expected that the bill for repairs and relocation of the fountain will be £30-40k.



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