St Leonards residents appalled as pavements are replaced with Tarmac: “It is civic butchery”

St Leonards residents have expressed disgust with the decision to replace pavements in the town with a blacktop material.

The paving slabs in Eversfield Place were removed on Thursday (July 8) and replaced with Tarmac.

Tanya Szendeffy, who lives there, shared pictures which showed the pavement both before and after the work and described the end product as ‘ugly and unsustainable’.

She added: “Firstly, there is absolutely no need for it. Secondly, it would surely have been cheaper to replace the broken paving slabs rather than ripping them all out and putting this blacktop down.

“The change to the character of the street is enormous. It is ugly and the material is possibly the least sustainable they could have chosen. Councils have green agendas yet this is the product they’ve chosen. It is compounding the harm.

“The street is also in a conservation area. We have a duty to protect that. This is not on.”

Tanya said she was given no prior warning of the work, but one resident had received a letter from East Sussex Highways which outlined ‘footway works’ in Eversfield Place.

In the letter, the council said: “East Sussex County Council has recently been awarded additional funding from the Department for Transport as part of their Emergency Active Travel Fund programme. This was set up by the Government as part of their Covid-19 recovery roadmap with the aim to enable more people to walk and cycle and support safe social distancing.

“An element of this programme will include carrying out county wide maintenance to improve footways to deliver on the objectives set out above, including works along Eversfield Place, Hastings.”

After sharing the pictures on Facebook, Tanya received comments from hundreds of residents who were equally appalled by the work. One said the work was ‘civic butchery’ while another called it vandalism.

Tanya added: “This work is permitted development to allow the removal of paving slabs. That should not be permitted development.

“Create Streets founder Nicholas Boys Smith, of the Government’s Building Better, Building Beautiful commission, would be absolutely against this.”

East Sussex County Council has been approached for comment.