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Petition launched in Mapesbury over 'act of vandalism' on conservation area's pavements

PUBLISHED: 15:15 15 November 2019 | UPDATED: 10:22 18 November 2019

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

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

Archant

Neighbours living in a conservation area in Mapesury have launched a petition to stop the "destruction" of their pavements.

Old stone kerbstones and paving in Dartmouth Road are due to be ripped up and replaced with asphalt on Monday.

Residents discovered the plans this week, less than seven days before what they call "a massive act of vandalism".

More than 60 people have signed a petition many of whom "didn't get the leaflet and all are shocked".

Maggie Chambers, who lives on the street, said: "Ecologically throwing away more than 7,300 paving slabs and hundreds of original kerbstones is wrong, economically it is wrong because re-laying or replacing the 15 percent of crooked or damaged stones would be much cheaper for the ratepayer, aesthetically it is wrong because it will look horrible and soon become dirty, mossy , slippery and difficult to sweep, and fundamentally it is wrong because this is a Conservation Area."

As this part of Mapesbury is onservation Area, all the details of household frontages and gardens are controlled to be in keeping with the Conservation Area Design Guide.

"Yet without consultation, Highways and Infrastructure have awarded a contract to Marlborough Highways to carry out this massive act of vandalism," Ms Chambers added.

"Our councillor Lia Colacicco and many members of the council are shocked but say it can't be stopped because the policy has been awarded."

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Neighbour Colleen Nathan said: "The Council has recently done the bottom section of Dartmouth Road. Why in the world would they want to rip it up again?

"Wouldn't it be cheaper to relay the slabs than throw them away and put in a new surface?

Hester Coley added: "The planning department are breaking their own rules.

"This is a conservation area and should be kept as it has been for 100 years."

Chris Whyte, Brent Council's operational director for environmental servicesl, said: "The council changed its policy on replacement pavements around three years ago, making the switch from using traditional slabs to using asphalt.

"As asphalt is proven to be more durable to the rigors of vehicle overrun and tree root intrusion it reduces the potential for trip hazards and frees up resources to enable more pavement repairs and replacement works to be carried out across the borough. The old kerbstones will be reused.

"It is a material being used by councils across London and has been the default footway maintenance material since 2016/17, with very few complaints about its use."

A spokesperson added works will be carried out "within existing budgets" by our highways contractors.

The council said it "is unable to deviate from the materials to be used on Dartmouth Road (...)to ensure a consistent approach across the borough."

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