READY, SETT .... NO
CONTROVERSIAL plans to dig up Beverley’s historic town centre cobble setts as part of a major improvement scheme will go ahead at the end of project to allow time for further discussions, East Yorkshire Council has decided.
Protestors turned out in force ahead of a full meeeting of East Riding of Yorkshire Council at County Hall on Wednesday, brandishing placards bearing the slogan “Save Our Setts”.
The gathering followed on the heels of a January 6 protest march involving several hundred people who delivered a 1200 name petition in support of their bid to save the Saturday Market feature.
During the full council meeting, ERYC Leader Stephen Parnaby said that removal of the cobble setts would now tkae place at the end of the £2.5m revamp of the area to allow time for further talks.
He said that he was really sad matters had escalated to such a level and explained that work in Saturday Market was part of a £2.5m scheme of improvements which would involve replacement of the existing Yorkstone footways with new or reclaimed Yorkstone flags.
“The total area of footway will be increased by approximately 60%. The flags will be placed on new, stronger foundation layers.”
There would be reconstruction of the existing road and parking areas with precast concrete setts.
Existing street lighting and electrical infrastructure would be replaced using modern equipment to traditional designs and the surface water drainage network will be renewed.
Coun Parnaby stressed that Beverley was an excellent Market Town, unlike many others, and there was not a huge vacancy rate within the retail area.
“We do need to keep that trend going, attract more visitors, more outdoor events and compliment the new shopping area soon be built on the Flemingate Site.”
The council consulted widely on the scheme. Coun Parnaby said: “Whilst removal of the existing hardstone setts (cobbles) has met with disapproval from the Civic Society and some press coverage, council officers have twice attended Civic Society meetings and believed that they had reached broad agreement and understanding of the need for compromise.
“Re-use of the existing setts would add up to five weeks to the works programme and significant cost. Approximately 30% of the existing setts will be re-used to enhance other features and acknowledge the historic perception.
“The extent of existing Yorkstone will be increased by about 60% and extend around the historic Market Cross with disabled users accommodated by inclusion of raised tables and an increased number of dedicated parking bays (almost twice the recommended DfT number). Up-lighting of the Market Cross will enhance the heritage feature. The area of paving adjacent to the Market Cross has increased to accommodate feedback.
Coun Parnaby said that a revised traffic layout had arisen out of the desire to introduce Yorkstone paving around the Market Cross – a need identified by the Civic Society and traders.
Market traders had been consulted through the relevant council officer. Proposals for a new layout for the market post-completion have been welcomed.
Following consultation with taxi operators and licensing authorities, proposed facilities for taxis had been improved to provide more taxi spaces during busy evening trade.
Coun Parnaby gave a reassurance that the scheme had not diverted money from other maintenance schemes - last summer the Council announced that an additional £3.2 million would be spent on highway maintenance.
“The works proposed for Saturday Market are in the programme on merit, the Council has a system for prioritising maintenance work based on Government accounting requirements. He explained: “Both the footways and carriageways in Saturday Market urgently require maintenance and are in the programme on the basis of the approach described in the Transport Asset Management Plan. Structurally, both have failed, and are in need of major maintenance rather than minor repairs. “The work will also enable statutory undertakers to ensure that their apparatus is fit for future purpose. Coun Parnnaby said: “It has always been the intention to retain any materials from the scheme such as the setts, kerbs, etc., for re-use elsewhere in Beverley to enhance its historic approach and I will ask officers to undertake a feasibility study into the potential future use of these setts in the Minster area which I believe was also suggested by members of the Civic Society. “I have also instructed officers to re-phase the scheme with works to the setts now scheduled in the latter part of the project to allow further discussions with stakeholders to take place. A revised timetable will be published shortly.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Driffield
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 11 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: East