Imperial ground works backed

PUBLISHED: 11:00 13 December 2011

Plans designed to stop the Imperial Recreation Ground crumbling into the River Exe have been backed by town planners.

A scheme proposed by East Devon District Council would see the concrete wall around the ground – which is being gradually washed into the ‘Duck Pond’ – being replaced.

If this is not done, there is a danger of toxic benzo(a)pyrene becoming exposed, contaminating the area.

The plan would see work carried out to raise the existing roadway, provide a new layer of topsoil on the ground, create new access steps and remove debris from the foreshore.

It would also see 24 trees being felled – although 23 new trees will be planted to replace them.

The town council has supported the plan, subject to their being no negative effect on the Estuary ecology, and to the replacement trees be of a mature standard, rather than saplings.

Councillor Steve Gazzard said: “I think it is long overdue for this to happen.

“At the moment there is a play area that can’t be used because it’s in a contaminated area, and for that and lots of other reasons, this should go ahead.”

The plan will now be considered by the district council. If it goes ahead, work is expected to begin in April.

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