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EXCLUSIVE: We ‘pick up’ March fountain and drop it into its new home

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CambsNews can reveal for the first time how March Fountain will ‘fit in’ if Fenland District Council go ahead with moving it to a new position in Broad Street.

OUT goes the ‘school playground’ blue marking used by the March Area Transport strategy group to show where it will be situated.

IN comes state of the art high quality digital photographic 3D imagery by CambsNews to ‘lift’ the fountain from its current spot and ‘place’ it in the agreed spot, 15‐20 metres south‐west and outside Mallett’s jewellers.

Digital photography used to show March Fountain on the move - computer mock up demonstrates new location Broad Street, March Friday 07 July 2023. Picture by Terry Harris


Digital photography used to show March Fountain on the move – computer mock up beings to demonstrate new location Broad Street, March Friday 07 July 2023. Picture by Terry Harris

Over 400 photographs from close up drone and mobile phone scanning has helped create this extraordinary view of the fountain’s proposed new ‘home’.

As all the photographs were, of course, taken in real time the resultant photographs cannot take account of the pedestrianisation outside of Malletts and along Broad Street that underpins the council’s plans.

But they do show, much more clearly and more accurately, the overall effect that will be achieved if the council continues with its widely criticised removal of the fountain.

Cllr Steve Count says the photo issued by Fenland Council on behalf of the March Area Transport strategy group came after they, “agreed to mark the proposed location of the fountain on the ground.

Digital photography used to show March Fountain on the move - computer mock up demonstrates new location Broad Street, March Friday 07 July 2023. Picture by Terry Harris

Digital photography used to show March Fountain on the move – computer mock up demonstrates new location Broad Street, March Friday 07 July 2023. Picture by Terry Harris

“This will help the group and residents visualise and understand the impact of the proposed location more fully.”

However, residents of March – and of course traders – can now get an altogether more accurate and realistic view of what to expect.

Official photo by Fenland Council (left) showing new position of March Fountain. On the right is the photo produced by Malletts jewellers which they claim shows the true horror of relocating it outside their shop.

Official photo by Fenland Council (left) showing new position of March Fountain. On the right is the photo produced by Malletts jewellers which they claim shows the true horror of relocating it outside their shop.

Gary Richmond, who with his partner Linzi Betts own Malletts jewellers in Broad Street, March, took issue with the council’s photos.

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He says their photo of the road outline “gives absolutely no perspective of the size/scale of the structure for us or our neighbours”.

He still believes a much better place for the fountain would be next to the river where the shelter currently is “for all to see and a sensible distance from business fronts.”

Fenland District Council has rejected opposition to the move and says work to dismantle it.

Digital photography used to show March Fountain on the move - computer mock up demonstrates new location Broad Street, March Friday 07 July 2023. Picture by Terry Harris

Digital photography used to show March Fountain on the move – computer mock up begins to demonstrate new location Broad Street, March Friday 07 July 2023. Picture by Terry Harris

And the council says Octavius, the company given the regeneration project, will appoint a “specialist heritage contractor to carefully dismantle, wrap and store the Grade II listed fountain”.

A council spokesperson said the relocation of the fountain was approved by its planning committee in February.

“The fountain will be moved a few metres from its current position, at the top of the central reservation in Broad Street, to what will become a new pedestrianised, public realm area,” said the spokesperson.

The fourth councillor to vote to move the fountain was Conservative Cllr Meekins, who ironically had fought the 2019 local elections as an independent. He was enticed to re-join the Conservatives in 2021. PHOTO: Rob Murray

Planned work to dismantle March’s Coronation Fountain as part of the ongoing town centre regeneration was postponed to protect nesting doves.

“It’s relocation will enable the new Broad Street road layout to be created, with a new roundabout replacing the existing traffic lights to reduce congestion and improve the flow of traffic, whilst also improving air quality in Broad Street.

You can’t, of course, beat an old fashioned tape measure to check the measurements of the fountain to Malletts– you know the outline of where the fountain is since the marking was undertaken, officially, by Fenland Council.

You can’t, of course, beat an old fashioned tape measure to check the measurements of the fountain to Malletts– you know the outline of where the fountain is since the marking was undertaken, officially, by Fenland Council.

“Its new public realm location, no longer surrounded by traffic, will also allow greater appreciation and enjoyment of the historic structure, which was built to celebrate the Coronation of King George V in 1911.”

The council says once the fountain is dismantled, it will put in storage at their council depot in Melbourne Avenue until being re-instated at the end of next year.

 

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