Councillors hope to smarten up a town by getting rid of red barriers which were put around trees three years ago.
They were placed to stop people stumbling over roots but are now said to be a problem that spoils parts of Ripley.
The issued was raised as the town council unveiled plans to attract more people to the area, which has regular bus links with Nottingham and Derby.
Council leader Steve Freeborn told members: “There are pavements where you go into the road because there are the barriers. There is significant disruption and parts of Oxford Street where the pavement has been damaged by roots.”
Ex-mayor Tony Holmes said the plastic barriers could deter investment in the town, citing the example of one business that is interested in buying a former bank.
Cllr Holmes said: “To still have the red barriers on a major trunk road into the town centre looks a disgrace. They have been there for three years.
“Businesses will take it into their own hands and will take away the barriers themselves.”
He has contacted Derbyshire County Council because he regards the barriers as dangerous, telling the council: “It is imperative to get this done as soon as possible.”
But he said that Ripley has more independently owned shops than any other town centre in the East Midlands, with attractive approach roads.
Town and Amber Valley councillor Ron Ashton said: “If it looks messy, the answer is to remove the trees and then remove the barriers.
“We tried planting trees to make the town look better.”
The area has won £30,000 from the European Regional Development Fund to boost its economy. Cash will help a “deep clean” of streets, a business directory, floral displays during the winter and moves to get live music into the town, ranging from buskers to brass bands.
Cllr Freeborn said a Ripley Facebook page has 893 followers while it has joined a “Totally Locally” campaign which hoped to encourage shoppers to spend an extra £5million annually in the town.
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