One of the many attractions in Poole is the beautiful Poole Park and situated by the lake is a small restaurant/bar and an outside snackbar area known as the Sevens BoatShed. The park attracts many visitors throughout the year who go down to feed the ducks and enjoy the parks facilities. The snack bar area used to have wooden tables with umbrellas where people could sit and enjoy a coffee but the seating area was lowland and always prone to getting muddy patches and coupled with the wildlife droppings it was never very easily accessible for wheelchair users and other people with disabilities.
So the leaseholder, a Mr Eddie Mitchell decided to improve things by replacing the existing wooden tables as seen above, with professionally installed decking and this was a massive improvement done at his own expense. Costing around £8,000. This made it far more easily accessible for people especially disabled as it had an easy access ramp and also made it a lot easier for the staff to keep clean. It was without doubt a vast improvement.
The council where none too happy with what Mr Mitchell had provided because he had not obtained planning permission from them to do this and instead of letting him apply for it, they insisted that he first pulled it down. This decision by Poole Council was done with a total disregard to the actual benefit the decking made not only for the BoatShed but also the many people who enjoyed it. No matter what common sense objections were put to them, they still insisted on its removal. Much to the disapproval of all who had enjoyed the use of the decking. They turned the above photo into this mud pit….
I recently revisited the park to see what it looks like today and it now has the wooden tables back and the grass has regrown, the ducks are happily doing their business all over the place.
For me this was hardly a decision that was made by our Poole councillors, that was in the best interest of those they are elected to serve, it was done quite simply because they knew they could do it. If he had knowling broken the planning regulations I am sure that any delayed planning application could have been accepted as it was without doubt an improvement that was of benefit for everyone. It was nothing more than bully boy tactics of our councillors at the detriment of many people and as far as I am concerned they should be ashamed of this!