Hartlepool shopping centre to remove ‘monstrosity’ after public outcry

The planters at Middleton Grange Shopping Centre.
The planters at Middleton Grange Shopping Centre.

Shopping centre chiefs have made a u-turn following uproar over the installation of planters.

The huge planters feature outside the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre’s York Road entrance sparked controversy among shoppers who said they were a ‘monstrosity’.

Now, bosses sat they are going to remove the planters after listening to concerns from people in the town.

Mark Rycraft, Centre Manager, Middleton Grange Shopping Centre said: “Following the recent installation of the planters at Middleton Grange, we have listened to the concerns of our shoppers and have taken the decision to remove the planters at the York Place entrance of the centre.

“Although the original purpose of the planters was to act as wind tunnel control to improve both shopper and retailer experience in this area of the centre, we appreciate that these were positioned in a challenging location and didn’t have a particularly good overall appearance. Whilst the wind issue remains, we felt it appropriate to acknowledge the valued feedback of our shoppers and remove the planters whilst we source an alternative and improved solution.

“The foliage from the planters will soon be relocated around the external parts of the centre and the planters themselves will be used in external areas to house bedding plants, so these haven’t been wasted and will be put to good use elsewhere around Middleton Grange.

“We’d like to thank customers for their feedback and patience during this time, and would like to apologise for any convenience caused.”

Shoppers took to social media to voice their concerns about the greenery, which are more than six-foot high and 20ft long, with it being likened to the Rain Forest.

Among those annoyed by the bushes was Lyndsey Dyson, who wrote on Facebook: “This monstrosity, is a giant ashtray/litter bin.”

Kirsty Swift, said: “You’ve got to be kidding me. That is just an eyesore ha ha.”

Leanne Dyson, said: “I suggest you swap the Rain Forest look for some simple bedding flowers ... terrible!”

Natalie Readshaw, added: “What a mess! Instead of wasting money on this why don’t you sort the lifts out.”

Nicola Moreton, said: “Omg is this a joke? I thought when money was spent on local areas it was supposed to “improve” them and attract more visitors not make them look so atrocious that it scares everyone away.”