Still waiting to hear from the ET&S committee

Still waiting to hear from the ET&S committee

Below is a letter that was sent to the Chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, Amy Heley. Local Councillors. Cllr Siriol Hugh-Jones and Cllr Leo Littman were also sent a copy of the letter. We have yet to have a reply from them.

This is not the first time that the issue of destroying the paved footpaths in this area has come up. Read this article for more information: https://www.brighton-society.org.uk/is-this-the-new-council-policy-for-footpaths/

10th November 2021

To Cllr Amy Heley, Chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee ­

Dear Cllr Heley

Following on from the council destroying the paved footpath the complete length of Preston Park Avenue (January 2021) they are now pulling up the paving stones the complete length of Preston Drove.  Presumably the personnel in Highways were congratulated for their work in Preston Park Avenue as they have organised an even more extensive contract to replace the perfectly good paving and replace with black tarmac for the whole length of Preston Drove.

It is unbelievable for a number of significant reasons. 

  • The contractors are currently destroying hundreds of paving stones within the Preston Park Conservation Area.  Regulations for Conservation Areas state that any work carried out by the council should aim to enhance the environment of the Conservation Area.  Perfectly good, paved footpaths replaced with black tarmac can in no way be regarded as any form of enhancement.
  • This is happening in the week of Cop26.  As a response to aims to create a zero-carbon future the construction industry is awash with reports that highlight the aim to keep existing structures rather than demolition and replacement.  The reason for this is that any new construction results in high levels of embodied energy caused by carbon dioxide emissions for the manufacture of materials.  Demolition, or in the case of the contract for Preston Drove, destroying perfectly good concrete paving, means that the embodied energy previously used to manufacture the paving is wasted and more carbon dioxide is generated to manufacture the oil-based tarmac. I would hope that the Green Party in charge of the council would treat this as a priority.
  • The council is about to commence Stage 3 of the Valley Gardens Project that will include huge areas of paving.  Presumably the council fully approve of using paving because of its appearance.  And yet at the same time the council’s highways management seem to have an agenda for removing paving in Conservation Areas away from the town centre.  The usual excuse is tree roots, but I have included some photos taken this morning of the lengths of paving about to be destroyed – tree roots appear to be a minor problem.  And of course, the whole length of Preston Park Avenue paving was destroyed when hardly any trees exist in the footpath.  So, you have to conclude that highways have their own plans for future contracts to remove paving in areas away from the town centre.  Would be good to have details of these plans for the future.
  • The contract for Preston Drove must be very costly.  Looks as though the contractors will be working there for two months. Are similar contracts taking place in other areas at the moment?  I thought that the council’s finances were in a poor way.  So why has this contract become such a priority?

Yours Sincerely

Malcolm Dawes

Brighton Society Trustee

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