City workers removed a tiny ‘parklet’ that saw benches and a flower bed at the top left of a public parking lot on High Street.
Father of two Adam Tranter built with friends across the Kenilworth, Warwickshire parking lot last September, believing it would boost local businesses after the initial lockdown.
The group filled the parking lot with flower beds, grass, chairs, benches and bunting – despite not having the proper permit.
Locals have used the benches regularly since their installation, until last Thursday when council officials removed the furniture and decorations.
Mr Tranter, 31, claims it was removed due to ‘one complaint’ because the site took up a parking space.
But city council insists the park was removed because it did not have a sidewalk permit and caused safety fears because it was too close to passing traffic.
Last year, driving groups criticized the introduction of ‘parklets’, in which parts of pavement and parking lots were replaced by seating areas, amid the growing demand for outdoor seating following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Father of two Adam Tranter turned a car park into a small ‘parklet’ in Kenilworth, Warwickshire last September
Despite being used regularly by locals, council officials removed the decorations because they feared it didn’t have a ‘paving permit’ and caused safety.
Alliance of British Drivers founder Hugh Bladon told MailOnline in October: ‘Municipalities across the country, the only thing they hate is everyone using the car or some sort of four-wheeled vehicle.
“They will do everything they can to make the drivers as miserable as possible.
‘The situation in London and the spread to other cities is absolutely chronic.
‘We have a situation because they made these parklets, which brought some areas to a standstill.
‘You have not been able to do the emergency vehicles properly because of all this. We will end up with people dying because of this. ‘
Marketing associate Mr Tranter said he is determined to bring back Kenilworth’s parklet – and is considering installing the yard on the back of a truck that he will park in a space.
He said: ‘It was only small, but the park was a real gem of the city – everyone seemed to appreciate it and it was also good for local businesses.
‘When I passed by, people were sitting on the benches chatting with a takeaway coffee.
‘Removing one parking space made hundreds of people happy, but it was also the downfall after someone decided it could be better used for a car.
‘We’re so used to looking for a place to park cars that we’ve forgotten what cities should be for – they should be places for friends to meet and socialize, and the parklet made that possible.
“It’s a real loss for the community.”
The mini-park only filled one space in the main street car park in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, and included flower beds, grass, chairs, benches and bunting
Aldermen came to the parking lot last Thursday to remove the furniture. The local government said it was concerned about safety as there was no barrier separating visitors from passing traffic
The mini park was built in September after locals saw them online in other cities.
Mr Tranter said: ‘I am very passionate about public spaces, especially since the pandemic when spending time outdoors has become even more important.
‘A lot of people thought it was a really nice way to use the space – it allowed friends to meet and stay socially distant over a cup of coffee.
“That also made it look a lot nicer.”
But a friend texted him last Thursday saying ‘Adam, someone is taking your park away!’.
Warwickshire County Council sent staff to remove the parklet – and Adam said he was told by area residents that it was prompted by a single complaint.
The park’s creator plans to write to the council and encourage them to adopt a community parklet plan, as are councilors in Hackney, East London.
“I knew in the back of my mind it might not last forever, but I didn’t expect this after apparently one person complained – it’s a great loss to the community,” he said.
Warwickshire County Council said the park has not been removed as a result of a complaint
Marketing boss Mr Tranter said he is determined to return the parklet and is considering installing the yard on the back of a truck that he will park in a space
Warwickshire County Council said the park has not been removed as a result of a complaint.
A spokesman said: ‘Over the past year, Warwickshire County Council has worked very closely with districts and boroughs on paving permits, as outlined in the Business and Planning Act 2020.
To date, County and City Councils have issued numerous paving permits in Warwickshire. To obtain a permit, business owners must submit an application to their relevant district and municipality for consideration.
Mr Tranter also plans to write to the council encouraging them to adopt a community parklet scheme – as are councilors in Hackney, East London
“The little parklet on High Street, Kenilworth, has been removed because no paving permits have been issued or applied for, and we cannot determine its owner.
‘In addition to the lack of a permit, we are also concerned about the safety of everyone using the parklet, given its location in a parking lot, without any kind of barrier between people and live traffic.
“When the parklet was placed on the highway, Warwickshire County Council as the Highway Authority took care of its removal.”