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Parish chiefs hit back at criticism of ‘fake turf’ plan
BOURTON-on-the-Water Parish Council has defended its plans to lay artificial grass on part of the village green after the news caused controversy among residents.
Councillors voted in favour of trialling the manufactured grass on a 30 square metre patch which is wearing away on one of the verges between the path and the river.
But news of their plans has caused uproar with some residents feeling that the village green should remain a natural beauty spot.
A letter from a villager to ward councillor Sheila Jeffery said: “The use of artificial grass would render the centre of the village more like a theme park than a beautiful Cotswold village.
“In my view it’s an inappropriate idea. The Cotswolds are renowned for their natural beauty.”
Coun Jeffery said she understood people’s concerns.
“The green, the river and bridges are the heart of Bourton,” she said.
“They are very special when everybody comes to see them. I believe it’s got to be looked at very carefully.”
Defending the plans, Councillor Richard Johnes stressed that they were not turfing over large parts of the village green; just a grass verge outside Verne’s Tea room.
“There’s been a lot of negative publicity that we are digging up the green,”
“We are not. It’s not the main village green. We’ve chosen this area because it’s separate. Everywhere else we are continuing with natural turf.”
He added that since the plans had been picked up by a national newspaper he had also received a request from a county television station to film them installing the new grass.
“I don’t think they appreciate the small size we are doing,” he said. “I will discourage them from doing so.”
Chairman Bryan Sumner added: “It’s just got to ridiculous levels. It’s a serious suggestion to put down turf on a test area.
It’s been taken totally out of context. We are not vandalising the green we are trying to improve it in certain places.”