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Controversial Dover ‘Parklet’ Dispute Continues

The new ‘parklets’ appearing all over Dover have sparked quite the debate on social media between disappointed residents and local council members defending the new instalments.

The £90,000 seating arrangements, or parklets, that have been installed in multiple places across Dover town has some people comparing them to a scene of fly-tipping and a pile of cardboard boxes.

Many residents have taken to social media and community groups to criticise the instalments, especially as more were placed around the town despite the public feedback on the first parklet installed on Biggins Street last month.

With Kent County Council remaining confident in the new parklets, with Cllr Michael Payne KCC cabinet member for highways and transport saying: ‘…the Dover parklets will help visually enhance the area, providing places for members of the public to rest and/or park their bike whilst shopping.’ However, the majority of residents still disagree. Now that all the instalments have been completed, opinions have only grown stronger.

Susie Byrne, 44, resident of Dover and mother of three, happened upon the new town parklets whilst shopping in town had initially thought she saw ‘a bunch of cardboard boxes one of the stores must be used to move’.

Diane Baker, 77, who has lived in Dover all her life is one of the many residents that share negative opinions on the parklets and disagrees with the amount of money that was spent to install them. She and her husband told of their concern on how ‘something that looks like an accident cost so much money.’

Although the vast majority of the town hold similar opinions to these, there are some residents that like the new Dover parklets and have criticised those on social media that disagree with them.

Petra Matthews Crow said: ‘They look really nice actually. Let’s hope people look after them and develop some pride in the town. I wonder how many people slagging this off in the thread contribute in any positive sense to the reputation of Dover? Ask not what Dover can do for you but what you can do for it! Dover needs love, not constant criticism.’

Due to the backlash, two of the five parklets have now been removed from the town which has been met by the praise of those who expressed their dislike of the seating arrangements.