Brent groups join forces to campaign for better pavements

Pavements de-slabbed in Brondesbury Road

Pavements de-slabbed in Brondesbury Road to be replaced by asphalt following failed opposition by residents - Credit: Flavia Rittner

Communities across Brent exasperated with seeing their streets asphalted have joined together to confront the council.

Eleven groups have come together to form Brent Residents Against Asphalt Pavements [BRAAP] to campaign in reversing Brent Council’s policy of asphalting at all costs.

Asphalt pavement brent

Cracked and buckled asphalt in Dartmouth Road, Brent - Credit: Maggie Chambers

Robin Sharp, joint convenor of the group, said: “This is a unique coming together of 11 residents’ groups and associations in Brent objecting to replacing long-lasting paving slabs with cheap impermeable tarmac. 

"[The tarnac] heaves and cracks, grows moss and looks awful when repaired, radiates heat into the urban environment and is opposed by more than 95 per cent of residents.

"They say the policy is cost-driven, but they should be planning for the long term, with sustainability at the fore."

A primary action is to write a scoping paper reporting the shortcomings of Brent's 2016 policy to replace paving slabs on the borough's pavements with tarmac.

BRAAP has sent the paper to Councillor Roxanne Mashari, chairman of Brent Scrutiny Committee for Resources and the Public Realm, asking for an investigation into the processes that lead to the policy along, with its implementation and to recommend an approach which takes account of residents’ input.

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The group's paper includes complaints that Brent’s 2016 policy was introduced using "hard to understand and unconvincing financial arguments".

It highlights a lack of transparency on the long-term running costs of asphalt vs re-laying paving slabs and the 95 per cent of petitioned residents who objected to the asphalted pavements amid concerns for the local environment. 

Neighbours against the uprooting of paving stones for asphalt on Dartmouth Road

Neighbours against the uprooting of paving stones for asphalt on Dartmouth Road - Credit: Archant

The report listed concerns that the council has a track record for ignoring concerns. 

In 2016 Willesden residents accused the council of "cheating" them when two petitions signed by neighbours in Greary Road was ignored by the council

In March this year tensions inflamed when neighbours in Brondesbury were "disinvited" to a meeting.

Neighbours in conservation areas such as Dartmouth Road, and Clifford Gardens also claim to have been let down.

The 11 groups are Aylestone Park Residents’ and Tenants’ Association, Barn Hill Residents’ Association, Brondesbury Road Group, Chandos Road Group, Clifford Gardens Group, Kensal Rise Residents’ Association, Kensal Triangle Residents’ Association, Kilburn Village Residents’ Association, Mapesbury Pavements Action Group, Queens Park Area Residents’ Association and Willesden Green Residents’ Association.

Brent Council has been approached for comment.