Grot spot to soon become great spot

Rubbish dumped at the base of the St John's Road railway bridge before work began to clear the area for a communal area.
Rubbish dumped at the base of the St John's Road railway bridge before work began to clear the area for a communal area.
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A GROT spot used by rough sleepers and street drinkers is to be transformed into a “community showpiece”.

A new group has been set up to transform the area of scrubland around the base of the railway bridge between Green Lane and St John’s Road in Spalding, into a communal open space for the whole community to enjoy.

The project follows years of neglect of the site, which became a magnet for fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour.

It is hoped the project, which involves South Holland District Council, Lincolnshire Police, Accent Nene Housing, South Lincs CVS and Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, will be used by people from all walks of life and encourage community cohesion.

Coun Roger Gambba-Jones, executive member for green spaces, said: “I’m very pleased that a community group will be taking an active and ongoing interest in this area and will be creating something really positive for the local people.

“This area has been a blot on the landscape for many years and this development will mean that it becomes a real asset to the community and not a continuing blight.”

Coun Gambba-Jones and the community development team at the district council have been working hard to eliminate grot spots throughout the district.

Sgt Stuart Brotherton, of Spalding police, who has played a lead role in the project, said: “The wasteland around Green Lane bridge has been left untouched and has become overgrown with brambles and other kinds of greenery.

“Of late it has been used by rough sleepers and by street drinkers and as a result has become a dumping ground for waste.

“This has caused great concern to the local community, many of whom use the bridge on a daily basis.”

Residents will now take responsibility for the area after permission was given by the landowners.

Sgt Brotherton said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for residents to see the back of an unsightly area of land, have a say on its future and make this historic bridge the centrepiece it deserves to be.”

The problems surrounding anti-social behaviour at the bridge were highlighted in January, when Coun Gambba-Jones vowed to “explore all avenues” to get the site cleared up.

His comments came after one angry father contacted the Lincolnshire Free Press to say he was “disgusted” at the state of the bridge.

Jon Coupland, who used the bridge to walk his six-year-old daughter to school, said it made Spalding “look like a tip”.