Home Office asks to put 27 flower planters outside Lunar House 'for security purposes'
WIELDING flowers at crazed extremists intent on wreaking havoc may sound like a last resort for preventing a terrorist attack.
But a series of floral displays is at the heart of the Home Office's new beefed-up security measures at the UK Border Agency's Lunar House headquarters in Wellesley Road.
A planning application submitted to Croydon Council upon "Home Office instruction", shows 27 one-metre tall, two-metre wide plant pots are to be strategically placed around the building "for security purposes".
The application states: "The Home Office have instructed DTZ [the agent] to submit a planning application, which seeks approval for the development of 27 planters outside Lunar House, Wellesley Road, for security purposes.
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"The proposed planters will be located within the curtilage of Lunar House to the north, west and south of the building…They will increase the level of protection from security threats."
It is understood the measures - set to replace a series of concrete "security blocks" which the Home Office spent £10,000 installing five years ago - are designed to stop car bombs crashing into the building.
But the Home Office was this week tight-lipped on the pots' purpose, saying only: "We don't comment on the measures we take for security reasons so that people who might wish to do us harm are not aware of why we are taking steps to secure buildings."
The proposed planters will be about one-metre tall and two metres wide, and made from dark grey, "Darley" polished concrete.
So "robust" is the plant-housing material, it is expected to deter "security threats whilst enhancing the visual amenity of the building and local area".
The application adds: "Due to the nature and scale of the proposed security planters, it is considered they will have a positive impact on the surrounding area.
"The proposals adhere to the policy aspirations for the site as they protect and enhance the Home Office's existing operations on the site."
The council will decide next month whether to approve the plan.