A PAIR of fundraisers hoping to brighten up Wimborne Square by planting a new tree have been told their vision could cost more than £35,000 to achieve.
Undeterred by the “ridiculous” estimate, Pamela Shrubb, chairman of Vision Wimborne, and Pat Hymers, Wimborne councillor for Dorset District Council, say they will continue with their fundraising efforts. Mrs Shrubb said the Square, which currently has one tree, has been looking bare since its refurbishment.
“We were thinking about it right from the time the Square was remodelled,” she said.
“A lot of residents in Wimborne are not happy with the way it is at the moment.”
The fundraising duo hoped to plant a new plane tree in a bid to “soften” the area but after consulting with East Dorset council they were told it could cost up to £35,800. The council said the bulk of the money would be spent on an archaeological dig which may have to be carried out before the tree was planted.
Following the estimate Mrs Shrubb said they were now considering the option of planting a tree in a container instead. “It seems ridiculous,” she said. “If they don’t want to dig a hole in the Square because they are worried about the archaeology then we could have a tree in a very big container.
“It’s an alternative we’ve been looking at.”
The issue will be considered by the Town Centre Liaison Group, which manages the Square on behalf of the council.
Lindsay Cass, head of property and engineering at East Dorset District Council, said: “We are not able to give a definite costing for planting a permanent tree in the Square as there are several factors, such as archaeology and underground services, which will not be known until any excavations take place.
“We have produced a budget estimate of £35,800 which is based on the actual costs in 2012, of the existing tree plus allowances for other costs, which may or may not be incurred – an archaeological dig being the most significant.”