Police to investigate damage to Louth's controversial Parklets

Lincolnshire Police have been called in to investigate an incident of vandalism to a pair of divisive parklets in Louth.

The seating elements removed from the parklets. Photo: Andrew Leonard
The seating elements removed from the parklets. Photo: Andrew Leonard

The latest incident, the second time in weeks, saw seating removed from the base of the features and left down Little Butcher Lane, just of Mercer Row.

The vandalism happened overnight on Wednesday/Thursday, and East Lindsey District Council collected the seating the next morning, taking it away for Lincolnshire County Council to conduct safety investigations.

A County Council spokesperson said: “In light of information that we have obtained through our investigation, we have now passed this matter on to the police.

The seating elements removed from the parklets. Photo: Andrew Leonard

“Whilst the police investigation is ongoing, we will not be making any further comments about this attack on the parklet unit in Mercer Row.”

A spokesperson for Lincolnshire Police confirmed they were investigating a report of criminal damage to two benches. They said no arrests had yet been made.

When the incident happened, Councillor Richard Davies, executive member for highways at the county council said the damage was “simply unacceptable”.

“This is the second case of vandalism that has happened to these units on Mercer Row and we will be conducting a further investigation into what has happened,” he said.

“It’s a real shame that the people of Louth who have been using this unit for its intended purpose will now not be able to continue to do so until we have been able to investigate the level of damage caused.”

The parklets are part of the Louth Active Travel Scheme, which aims to improve walking and cycling in the town by taking away some parking, moving other bays and doubling down on café culture in the Cornmarket.

Earlier this month, one of the parklets’ beams had to be reaffixed after “wilful vandalism”. The damage was blamed on “considerable weight” being “brought down on top of this bar repeatedly”.

There has been criticism levelled at the scheme spilling in to Mercer Row, with businesses saying there has been a drop in trade since it started; and residents – particularly the elderly and disabled – bemoaned a lack of spaces for them to park for short pick-ups and drop-offs.

Opponents continue to call on council leaders to meet with them to discuss their concerns.

A meeting of Louth Town Council is set to take place at 6.40pm on Monday, October 17, at at St James Church 6.30pm.

The scheme was set to last 18 months.

Feedback on the scheme can be sent to LCC by emailing [email protected]