Removal of Whitehead granite kerbs ‘not taken lightly’, say DRD

Kerbstones removed on Victoria Avenue.  INCT 13-731-CON
Kerbstones removed on Victoria Avenue. INCT 13-731-CON

The Department for Regional Development has said it did “not take lightly” a decision to remove historic granite kerbs from a Whitehead street.

Transport NI is currently resurfacing the carriageway and footways on Victoria Avenue.

However, the move has drawn criticism from some local residents, with many pointing out that the street lies within Whitehead’s Conservation Area.

“As a resident in Whitehead we were not informed of [Transport NI’s] decision, considering the amount of revenue that comes from the Victorian Fair and the amount of tourists visiting this town,” said Fergus Leckie, who lives on Victoria Avenue.

“Features such as this are intrinsic to our town, and provide the character that attracts tourists. It is unclear why as a resident of Whitehead we have to follow strict conservation policies, when the same are not seemingly upheld by the very council who imposes them.”

Responding to the issue, a DRD spokesperson said: “The granite kerbs which were in poor condition along a portion of the scheme are to be replaced with concrete kerbs. The Department are sensitive to the removal of granite kerbs and the decision to lift and replace was not taken lightly.”

In a letter to Mr Leckie, the Department indicated that “structural weaknesses” necessitated the complete removal of the granite.