Council makes U-turn over use of tarmac on Devonhurst estate
Campaigners against the use of tarmac on Chiswick's footways are claiming a victory after it was announced that paving will be kept after all on a number of Chiswick Streets.
In response to a question by Cllr Adrian Lee (Turnham Green Ward) at last night’s (30th January) Borough Council meeting, Hounslow’s deputy leader and lead member for environment, Cllr Colin Ellar announced that the streets surrounding Foster Road, known as the Devonhurst Estate will now not be covered tarmac as part of the Council's 25-year plan to upgrade and maintain public highways and footpaths in the borough. The work had been due to start next week.
A view of Foster Road
Speaking after the Borough Council meeting, Hounslow’s deputy leader and lead member for environment, Cllr Colin Ellar said: “This council has secured an £800 million investment over 25 years in Hounslow’s infrastructure and highways – the biggest this borough has ever seen.
“The works have started across the borough and several streets have already been completed, such as Staveley Gardens, where pavement repairs and new street lighting have been put in.
“Some residents raised concerns about the appearance and quality of the streetworks but I’m happy to confirm that these have been addressed, along with issues around the conservation of street trees, granite kerbstones and gutters.”
Although no details were given as to how this will be funded local councillors cautiously welcomed this u-turn.
Cllr Adrian Lee said,“We have spoken out against this misguided policy on numerous occasions. We strongly believe that the policy to tarmac all those roads in Chiswick which aren’t in a Conservation Area is totally wrong. It will scar the Edwardian area street scene that we hold dear. Residents weren’t consulted on these plans and they have made their total opposition clear”.
A meeting of the Chiswick Area Forum on January 22nd was attended by a large group of concerned residents from the affected area. This comprises a number of streets surrounding Foster Road, known as the Devonhurst Estate. They heard that it was unlikely that any money could be made from available from S106 funds to change the current situation.
The deputy leader of Hounslow Council, Cllr Colin Ellar has previously blamed a 30% government cutback in funding for the decision to start using tarmac but said that it was possible local monies could be found in Chiswick to keep the slab paving if councillors wished to do so. He said in his statement that "the local area forums have the opportunity to invest money into paving slabs for their residents, should they wish to do so." Chiswick Councillors say that the funds available to the local area forum would not be sufficient to fund paving across the area.
Cllr Peter Thompson commented, “We will be interested to see how the Council plans to finance this change of heart for these streets. Whilst this is good news for the residents of Foster Road, Hadley Gardens, Alwyn Avenue and Wavendon Avenue there are still large parts of Chiswick that are facing the tar buckets. I guess that residents in these areas will now have to mobilise, write letters and collect petitions to save their streets. What a ridiculous way to run a council!”
An example of the type of pavement residents do not want in Chiswick
January 23, 2013