Friday, 15 February 2019

York stone pavement slabs finally replaced by utility firm

York stone pavement slabs finally replaced by utility firm

PAVING stones that were removed from a Henley street to allow contractors to fix an underground power line have been replaced.

Contractors for utility company SSEN, which carried out the original work outside Tudor House Antiques in Duke Street in August, installed new slabs last week.

The stones, which are more expensive than regular paving, had been replaced with a temporary tarmac surface.

Henley district councillor Joan Bland complained to South Oxfordshire District Council about the “eyesore” but SSEN said it would take some time to find matching stones.

The company said it understood the importance of Henley’s history and architecture and it always intended to replace the stones but wanted to find a suitable supplier and not rush the work.

It gave the old stones, which could not be relaid, to the town council.

This week, Councillor Bland said: “It’s great news and it’s about time because we’ve been waiting a long while.” Meanwhile, a similar-sized section of York stone paving outside Caffe Nero in Bell Street was dug up last week and replaced with tarmac by another contractor.

Councillor Bland said she would investigate and demand that the right stones were replaced.

Fellow district councillor Will Hall, who lives in Henley, said: “Time and time again we see pavements dug up and left in a disgraceful mess. Henley is a beautiful town but these thoughtless acts do great harm. This needs to be sorted as soon as possible.”

In 2008, the district council and Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, paid more than £400,000 to replace the concrete paving in the town centre with York stone as they felt it would benefit Henley’s economy by attracting more visitors.

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