News that Bath Place in Taunton is to be improved has been greeted with dismay by Cornhill trader, Sharon Davis who owns Interiors and Flowers.
Hearing of the plans for Bath Place Sharon Davis said, “This is absolutely shocking. I don’t know what to say. You look at what we’ve got here in Wellington [in Cornhill] and what could be done.” Ms Davis has battled to improve the environment around her shop.
Cllr Roger Habgood, Taunton Deane’s Executive Member for Planning and Transportation, referred to Bath Place as Taunton’s “Jewel in the Crown”.
The Bath Place makeover – which includes the replacement of paving slabs – is a joint project funded by Somerset County Council, Taunton Deane Borough Council and Bath Place Traders Association. The work will take 4 weeks.
Sharon has fought a long battle with Taunton Deane and Somerset County Council to solve the problems blighting Cornhill – one of the oldest streets in Wellington – which include pigeons roosting in derelict properties above the archway and an absence of investment.
Asked whether any action had been taken to solve the problem of pigeon mess, Sharon said, “The Council has done nothing to help. I’ve had one visit just before Christmas from someone from the Enforcement Office and they were going to get in touch with the owner of the flat above the arch but I’ve heard nothing since. They don’t even come through to sweep once a week. It’s quite upsetting to be completely honest. I’ve been here 4 years and battled on. I’ve been given this promise and that promise but nothing happens.”
Local residents expressed the hope that the opening of The Iron Duke would signal an improvement in the maintenance of Cornhill but, apart from Wetherspoons installing hanging baskets and netting to protect its terrace from pigeons, no further progress has been made. They may now question why Bath Place is worthy of investment and Cornhill – which many see as a potential ‘jewel in the crown’ for Wellington – continues to suffer from neglect.