NAILSWORTH Town Council has washed its hands of the town's landmark fountain as the long-simmering ownership feud with Stroud District Council boiled over this week.

The town council has accused the district council of pressuring it into withdrawing a planning application to restore and move the fountain.

Mayor Cllr Lesley Williams-Allen told the SNJ: "The fountain application was irritating SDC and making their statistics for processing applications look bad so they came to us and asked us to withdraw it.

"When we said we were not happy about that they said they would refuse it anyway because the ownership was in doubt. It is in SDC hands now. They're going to have to work out what to do with it."

The town council says it is prepared to pay the estimated £20,000 to move the fountain to the junction of Market Street and the A46 but believes the district council owns the deteriorating landmark and should pay the further £20,000 expected to be needed to restore it.

"It's sitting on their land so how can they argue it belongs to someone else?" asked Cllr Williams-Allen.

Stroud District Council spokesman Dave Marshall said: "Until the question of ownership has been satisfactorily resolved, it does not make sense for us to decide the planning application.

"We can only conclude this whole issue by talking to the Town Council. In an attempt to move forward, we asked the Town Council in June for their information on the costs of repair. We have not yet had a reply.

"We fully accept that the Fountain is an important part of Nailsworth's townscape. In that spirit, we are happy to do our bit and work with the Town Council to resolve this issue." The town council has written to English Heritage, which oversees listed buildings, outlining the situation.