‘Civic vandalism’ - Norwich Society adds its voice to iron posts campaign

The ornamental bollards on an alley in Clarendon Road, which the city council want to remove for mec

The ornamental bollards on an alley in Clarendon Road, which the city council want to remove for mechanical sweepers to access the alley. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

A history society has added its voice to a campaign aimed at saving a pair of iron posts in the city.

Norwich City Council is spending £39,000 to replace 83 bollards to enable its street sweepers to access alleyways.

But the Norwich Society has today said the local authority's actions could be seen as 'civic vandalism'.

It comes after two women protested against the removal of two iron bollards on Clarendon Road on Tuesday.

Lesley Cunneen and Marilyn Mann threatened to chain themselves to the posts if the council attempted to try again.

Norwich Society administrator John Litster said: 'It would appear that there has been no consultation, prior warning, or discussion about alternative courses of action to the problem of keeping alleys litter-free.

'The antique posts have been in place for many years, decades, and in some cases over a century – why are they suddenly an impediment to litter removal after all that time? It is difficult to keep the words 'civic vandalism' at bay in a case like this.'

The city council claimed the posts on Clarendon Road were installed in the 1980s, but people living nearby said they had been there for longer.

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Mr Litster was also doubtful of the authority's claims, adding that they looked 'significantly' older than 30 years.

A council spokesman said it did not require planning permission or conservation consent to replace the bollards because of their height.

The spokesman stressed the council had made efforts to ensure the replacements were in keeping with the traditional feel of certain areas.

But Mr Litster said: 'The character of a historic city like Norwich is formed by the patina of its many physical objects. You can't fake age, and while the new posts installed by the council are not at all unpleasant to look at, they do not have the same 'look and feel' of the antique bollards which were installed at the same time as the surrounding buildings.'

The council said it decided to replace the bollards following complaints from people about the cleanliness of alleyways.

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