ANGRY parents in Dorchester have hit out at Brewery Square bosses in a row over ‘shrieking’ children playing in the fountain.
Scores of people posted their concerns online after it became apparent that the 37 jet fountain had been ‘turned down’ in recent weeks.
Families and visitors have been enjoying the fountain in the sunny weather, but some businesses and residents in the area haven’t been too pleased with the noise levels.
Signs around the urban regeneration project were erected to urge visitors and parents that ‘playing and laughing is OK. Screaming is not’.
Andrew Wadsworth, director of Waterhouse, which is developing the site in partnership with Resolution Property, told the Echo that numbers of complaints had been made by businesses and residents due to the ‘continuous screaming of children’.
While the fountain has been turned down recently, he said it is just part of an experiment to work out the best fountain programme to use in order to please visitors, businesses and residents.
He said: “We are just experimenting with the different programmes that the fountain can work on. It was turned down but this week we will be turning it back up to experiment with that setting.
“It can have a very active programme or a much more moderate level.
“The problem began a couple of weeks ago when we had a number of complaints from residents and businesses about the continuous screaming of children playing in the fountain.
“If you are working there or living there, all they can hear is shrieking children.”
He added: “Many of us are parents and know what it is like to be children but we want to work it so residents, business and the public can all be happy with the setting.”
Parents and visitors took to the Brewery Square Facebook page, where an online debate was sparked over the issue.
Resident Maggs Edwards posted: “Don’t the people that are complaining remember being young and having fun? Obviously not.”
Richard Gossage said: “No one wants a white elephant with empty shops and restaurants. You are obviously an intelligent company and I have supported your comments in the past but I really think you have it wrong here.”
Kayie Hathaway added: “I guess it’s better than being turned off.”
Kelly Rich posted: “My children no longer want to go there since the fountains have been turned down. It’s such a shame because it’s so much fun.”
The cost of running the fountain is part of the service charge, mostly by the commercial units in Brewery Square.
The online debate continued between a spokesman of the site and angry parents for more than 50 comments.
TRANSFORMING 11 acres of the former Eldridge Pope Brewery in Dorchester’s town centre, the £100 million mixed-use Brewery Square scheme, by urban regeneration specialists Waterhouse & Resolution Property, is the largest town centre regeneration in the South West.
It includes a number of leading name restaurants, shops and an Odeon Cinema.