The new leader of Plymouth City Council has set out his firm intention to rescue, reinvigorate and renew the city centre and reunite a divided city.
New council leader Tudor Evans OBE said his new administration’s top priority would be to sort out Armada Way.
Within hours of becoming the Leader of the Council he has overturned the decision of previous Leader, Councillor Richard Bingley, in relation to the Armada Way scheme.
This means the current scheme will not be implemented. Officers will bring forward options to regenerate Armada Way.
He has tasked officers with ensuring that further engagement takes place with key groups and businesses, to consult on the next steps for Armada Way.
Councillor Evans said: “I think we can all agree that the decision to fell the trees has been hugely damaging – not just to the council, but to the city and Plymouth’s growing reputation as a place that cares passionately about getting greener.
“There are many lessons we can learn from this sorry affair that has polarised opinion in Plymouth and about Plymouth.
“We need to move forward and make sure we get this right. In the first instance, we need to focus on cleaning up the current site and talking and listening to communities, businesses and key stakeholders in the coming weeks. It is time for the Council to take back control of this project.”
Next week the new Council leader and other senior politicians will have a walkabout of the Armada Way site and urgent meetings will be arranged with city business representatives.
A ‘hit squad’ will be deployed to tackle the litter that has built up in the city centre around the site, while officers are currently liaising with the Council’s independent ecologist over next steps to clear the stumps of the felled trees, before looking at how and when the remaining felled trees can be removed, without damaging any birds nests, which may now be in the brush.