Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Bring back bollards!

A MAN says parked cars are damaging a 19th century pavement outside his house after Oxfordshire

A MAN says parked cars are damaging a 19th century pavement outside his house after Oxfordshire County Council removed nine bollards.

Chris Kiddy, 72, says drivers regularly park on the pavement in West Street, causing the ground to sink, despite the presence of double yellow lines.

The house’s former owner Nick Bastian, father of actress and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Ali Bastian, paid Oxfordshire County Council to install the bollards in 2011.

But they were removed in January this year because the pavement is listed and the council didn’t have the correct planning permission.

The holes were then replaced with modern red bricks and the bollards given back to Mr Bastian.

Mr Kiddy, who bought the house about 18 months ago, says he has written to the council three times to complain but has yet to receive a reply. He said Mr Bastian had also been concerned about the parking on the pavement and paid £2,000 to have the bollards put in.

“They were effective, if unsightly, and did the job,” he said.

Mr Kiddy, 72, and his wife Isabel, 61, were away on holiday when the bollards were removed.

He said: “We came back and said, ‘what’s happened?’

“The bollards belong to us as owners of the house so where are they? They have been replaced by squares of modern brick in the middle of a listed pavement.

“We don’t mind if people park on double yellow lines but the bollards were to protect the pavement and because the road narrows outside our house. The pavement is being damaged by the weight of cars. It’s also a problem for the Row Barge pub next door because their delivery truck is big and heavy and also parks on the pavement.”

An Oxfordshire County Council spokeswoman said: “We put the bollards in at the request of the then owner, Mr Bastian, who was having trouble with cars being parked outside his front door on the footway.

“He paid for them as we do not have funds to carry out this type of work.

“We subsequently discovered that the footway is listed and we therefore should have sought planning consent from the district council.

“Planning consent was then granted to install a smaller number of bollards â?? seven instead of the original nine.

“Earlier this year, while we were carrying out repaving work to the footway on the other side of West Street, we took the opportunity to begin the works to comply with the planning condition. Having removed them, we were asked not to replace them by Henley Town Council.

“Mr Bastian asked that, as he paid for the bollards and they weren’t being re-installed, could he have them returned and we recently delivered them to his new address outside  Henley.”

Town and county councillor David Nimmo Smith said: “The town council didn’t like the bollards in the first place and thought they were inappropriate in that part of the street.

“Cars are now parking down there so I will make sure the issue is raised at the upcoming traffic advisory committee meeting.

“It’s a balance between the people who live there, the groups who are trying to look after the environment and the town council.”

• What do you think? Write to: Letters, Henley Standard, Caxton House, 1 Station Road, Henley, RG9 1AD or email

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