Cost of ‘skipgate’ planters revealed

An image of what the Broadway bandstand area could look like following the Public Realm works.

An image of what the Broadway bandstand area could look like following the Public Realm works.

It has emerged that the cost of providing so-called ‘skip’ planters in Ballymena town centre was in the region of £190,000.

The planters, which caused a storm of controversy across social media last week, were put in place as part of the ongoing £4 million ‘public realm’ scheme.

Another view of a planter in  Broughshane Street

Another view of a planter in Broughshane Street

Last week Council maintained that similar planters are already being used in many towns across Northern Ireland successfully.

Council said the planters were designed to prevent cars being on the pavement and to protect people at the pedestrian crossing points.

Now the Ballymena Times has learned that the Council ordered 23 small planters at £3,530 each and 25 large planters at a cost of £4,275 each.

A Council spokesperson said:“The total cost of the Ballymena public realm scheme was subject to a full economic appraisal and approved by central government through the Central Procurement Directorate (CPD).

“Each element of the scheme - including the planters - was subject to open competitive tender by the contractor.

“These planters were included on the visuals during the comprehensive public consultation process, which was highly commended for its communication and presentation by the Landscape Institute Awards in 2015.”

“The aim of the public realm scheme is to enhance the town centre for everyone. The project team will continue to review the scheme as it progresses.”