WORK has begun this morning (Monday, September 13) to remove the metal cage planters on the high street in Andover.

The work, which began at 8am, was at the request of Test Valley Borough Council, following complaints about their appearance.

It comes after wooden planters were also removed last month, with public consultation on how to replace the street furniture due to take place soon.

Leader of TVBC, councillor Phil North, said: “I know that the plant cages have attracted criticism in the past, not least from me, and while it is clear that they were put in place to enhance the town centre, they are very much of their time.

“Their removal gives us a chance to consult more widely on how we can make our town centre more attractive for the future. Providing better street furniture and a wider variety of quality town centre greenery, as well as the opportunity to plant more trees. Crucially, this includes talking to disability groups to ensure any new street furniture doesn’t become too much of a hazard.

“NEW masterplanning and Hemingway Design did a fantastic job helping us create the masterplan, so we are delighted to be working with them again on this urban design and public realm project.”

The latest stage of the masterplan has been prompted by the town council’s design statement, which labelled the planters as “unacceptable”.

An extract from the document said: “While the pockets of green infrastructure found in the conservation area are a welcome addition, the style of some planters sit in juxtaposition to the quality of the conservation area. Most awkwardly, the tall ivy climbing structures which sit incongruously to their setting.

“In addition, the reduced quality and condition of the planters is beginning to become apparent, most obviously the timber planters.”