Chiswick Pavements Battle Gathers Momentum
Council faces more local opposition over plans to tarmac streets
Campaigners against the use of tarmac on Chiswick's footways have gathered hundreds of signatures to petitions asking Hounslow Council to halt its plans.
They claim that the areas around the 'Groves' which borders Chiswick Lane, and also the Glebe Estate which is close to Chiswick High Road, come under 'Areas of Distinctiveness - Heritage Fringe', which should have its traditional paving preserved.
An image of Balfern Grove from 1925
Hounslow Council is to debate the issue tomorrow (April 30) and locals plan to attend the meeting. A letter has been sent to the deputy-leader Cllr Colin Ellar asking him to reconsider the Council's position on the matter.
Residents of Wilmington Avenue in Grove Park have also voiced concern following the delivery of letters which state that their street is also earmarked for works resurfacing the footways. It is also expected that Cavendish Road, Station Gardens and Staveley Gardens are included in planned works. Details of Hounslow Highway's plans are available on their website- http://www.hounslowhighways.org/
The residents from the 'Groves' and the Glebe Estate are hoping to replicate the success of others in the Devonhurst Estate who pursuaded the Council to change its plans. Concerned locals there had challenged the scheme to replace paving with asphalt, claiming that tarmac would destroy the Edwardian street scene around Foster and Wavendon Roads.
The maintenance scheme is part of an £800m investment over 25 years between Hounslow Council and Vinci-Ringway to maintain public roads and footpaths across the borough.
The ABC estate includes Ashbourne, Balfern, Cornwall, Eastbury, Wilton and Cranbrook roads.
A spokesperson for the ABC Estate Pavement Campaign, Tessa Cleaver, said the streets in question made up a Victorian estate and contained original Victorian features. Surrounding streets were very similar in character and history but they were protected by Conservation or Heritage Fringe status.
"The Council's draft Context and Character report includes the area with the Glebe estate, characterizing it as amongst the smallest-scale, finest grain developments in the borough. It should be regarded as sensitive and steps taken to preserve its uniformity as part of the local heritage," she said.
The residents are also annoyed that there was no consultation held prior to the PFI decision.
"There is a lot of voluntary conservation in these streets, and people invest significant amounts of their own money in restoring traditional design and materials. There is also concern about slightly unclear plans for trees and a worry that there will either be no consultation or damage done to property if larger trees are felled or roots trimmed."
She said the Council was "dividing and ruling" on the matter, and it seemed as if each set of streets had to campaign separately. There was huge strength of local feeling on the matter, she said and the Council should identify all sensitive traditional areas, declare them all 'Distinctive Historical Fringe' and lay paving.
An example of the type of pavement residents do not want in Chiswick
January 23, 2013