The Lancashire Evening Post, Friday, 20th November 2009
Square battle on the cards By Sonja Astbury
Conservation campaigners are mounting a protest by bombarding planning bosses with thousands of picture postcards of a threatened city square. The newly-formed Winckley Square Campaign group has printed thousands of postcards of the park, which is under threat from developers.

Residents, shopkeepers, conservationists and historical groups have been snapping up the cards to register their objection to proposals for a 3m revamp of the square.

Protestors, including Preston and South Ribble Civic Trust, claim the plans are "cheap, kitsch-y and unsympathetic".

The plans, by Bristol-based Cooper Partnership include a granite staircase from the Winckley Square entrance, a 10m high totem pole and a water fountain.

The designers were picked after winning a competition run by Preston Council.

Objectors hope the cards will encourage members of the public to object to the plans before the December 3 deadline for representations.

Save Winckley Square
Civic Trust chairman Aidan Turner-Bishop said an initial print run of 2,000 was snapped up within hours and another 2,000 are now circulating around the country.

The colourful print carries a message to the city's development control officer calling for a halt to the latest proposals.

The heritage campaigner said: "We have had a lot of support. Over 1,000 went from St Wilfrid's Church after mass on Sunday, another 40 went from Chorley Historical Society and over 100 went out to people asking for them.

"We've been mailing them out to people, not only in Preston, but up and down the country.

"We've done door-to-door posting in the area around Winckley Square and people are putting them up in shop windows. After that we had to get another print run."

He said: "We want this to be the most objected planning application in people.

"We're going for the Guinness Book of Records and want to make the planners realise the depth of people's unhappiness about this planning application."

Mr Turner-Bishop said people near the square were unhappy about not being consulted about the proposals and were "hopping mad" that the city centre garden area could be destroyed.

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© The Lancashire Evening Post, November 2009