COMPLAINTS from residents in a Woodside Park street have forced a contractor which is meant to be replacing every lamppost in Barnet to take their plans for one road back to the drawing board.
Plans put forward to update lighting in Lullington Garth angered residents in the street, who feared they would lose valuable on-street parking spaces after a battle to be allowed to park on the kerb.
Other problems with the original drawings included placing lamps outside bedroom windows and having to dig up driveways to run power cables along to relocate posts a few meters.
One lamppost was also located only 22m from the next one, inside the minimum 23m set out in the council's own guidelines while several tree canopies were also drawn too small.
Martin Roche, a resident of the street for eleven years said: “There's no thought at all gone into the original plan.
“They didn't know anything about the arrangement to park on the curb and the whole first survey was just a waste of money. They would have had to dig up all my driveway to move a post a few metres, it doesn't make any sense.”
The updated lighting was being installed as part of a private finance initiative (PFI) entered into jointly by Barnet and Enfield Councils with contractor David Webster Limited five years ago.
In a letter sent to residents just two weeks before the work was due to start Barnet Council says part of the idea behind the scheme was to reduce street clutter.
However, the increased number of lights and failure to locate road signs on the columns themselves meant there would have been an increase in objects on the pavement.
The letter also states old columns will be removed “straight after” the new ones are installed, although nearby Frith Lane is still waiting for the removal of old posts by EDF energy.
Residents complained to Councillor Brian Coleman, who they praised for helping them sort the previous parking problems.
However, he told the Times Series there was no formal arrangement for parking and residents were not strictly allowed to park on the kerb.
He said he did not know how much the PFI contract had cost the council so far, or the likely cost and banned the council's press office from handing over technical data about the scheme.
Cllr Coleman would only say: “This is a five-year-old contract going on quite successfully across Barnet. It is a good news story.”
On Monday a representative of David Webster Ltd met with residents and agreed to redraw the plans after learning of the on-kerb parking and their other concerns.
What do you think of the lamppost replacement scheme? Leave your comments below.