Campaign Launched To Save Chiswick Pavements

Residents challenge Council plan to resurface with tarmac


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Residents in the Foster Road area of Chiswick and surrounding streets are challenging a proposal by Hounslow Council to replace their pavements with tarmac surfaces. They believe this will not suit their Edwardian streets and are also worried that the work will damage trees.

A meeting of residents from Foster Road, Hadley Gardens, Alwyn Avenue and Wavendon Avenue has decided to raise a petition against the plan and to lobby local councillors on the issue. The works are expected to start on February 7th but the residents say they want this postponed.

A view of Foster Road

Mr. Robert Shaw, a conservation architect who lives in Foster Road, said they would also be meeting local councillors. He said the pavements were in need of some repair but there were aspects to the works that concerned local people.

A full response on the issue from Cllr. Colin Ellar on behalf of Hounslow Council can be read elsewhere on this newsletter.

Apart from placing asphalt on the pavement surfaces, the locals are concerned that historical granite kerbstones dating back to 1906 would be removed. There were a number of important commemorative items in the area, including trees planted to mark the Millennium, said one.

Residents have been told that work would start in Foster Road and Alwyn Avenue and eventually extend to the whole of Chiswick and other parts of Hounslow with the exception of Turnham Green and other nominated conservation areas. Trees whose root systems were judged to endanger the sustainability of the pavement would have their roots trimmed or be cut down.

The locals say that while they recognise action needs to be taken to maintain their pavements to make them safe to walk on, they do not want it done at the expense of the local street scene.

They are making representations to Hounslow Council on the grounds of lack of consultation with residents; that it is an inappropriate solution to the problem of poorly maintained pavements and badly managed trees; and that it would represent a lack of sustainability, on the basis that tarmac pavements would almost immediately need to be dug up and trenched to maintain water and utilities, resulting in poor quality pavements. Paving stones could more easily be lifted and replaced, they say.

"We ask that our trees be treated with care and respect and that wherever possible they be managed to restrict the damage to pavements. Where this isn't possible, that the tree be removed and replaced by a more suitable tree that will not overgrow its environment."

A website and a Facebook page are also being planned.

January 14, 2013

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