Retention of Cobbles in Titchfield High Street
Response from Hampshire County Council, March 2013
I refer to your petition, which the Leader of the Council forwarded to me concerning the retention of the cobbles in Titchfield High Street.
I apologise for the delayed response but work has been ongoing to identify the future opportunities of this particular situation and I wished to convey the definitive information on the next steps to be taken.
As you know, the County Council had unfortunately received reports of injuries, including broken bones, from pedestrians slipping and tripping on the cobbled areas. I'm sure you'll understand that this was a situation that we could not allow to continue, especially with the winter weather upon us.
I can fully understand the desire to retain these cobbles and we did work with the Borough Council's Conservation Team to explore whether they could be treated in situ to provide a safer walking surface. Unfortunately, we were unable to identify any appropriate options and we therefore reluctantly decided that we had no reasonable alternative but to lift them and, in the short term, replace them with blacktop. This provided a safe surface and enabled the work to be carried out expediently, causing minimum disruption to the local businesses. However, this is a temporary solution.
I am pleased to inform you that we have now identified a suitable treatment to enable the reuse of the cobbles within the paved area. This will provide a more even non slip surface when re-laid removing the potential hazards which were present. In addition, a scheme is currently being developed to repave a section of footway within this area of the High Street which we are again working closely with the Borough Council. We are hopeful we can coordinate the relaying of the cobbles with this proposal and will be consulting on these proposals in the near future.
Please be assured that we are sensitive to the character of the Conservation Area and the reuse of traditional materials wherever possible. The cobbles have been carefully lifted and stored and we will make sure that the local community is kept informed of progress as the scheme develops.
Councillor Melville Kendal
Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Environment and Transport