St Albans campaigner riles against 'unnecessary' removal of heritage lampposts
PUBLISHED: 13:00 16 September 2019 | UPDATED: 15:10 16 September 2019
A heritage campaigner is riling against historical lampposts being "unnecessarily" removed from the St Albans street scene.
David Kaloczi has been campaigning to stop Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) digging up lighting columns, which he believes are Edwardian in origin, across the district.
He says the most environmentally-friendly, cost-effective, and heritage-sensitive solution to shabby or broken lampposts is a new lick of paint and electric repair work where necessary, rather than removal.
The 50-year-old said: "We are supposed to be an educated country, we are a historic city and people come here for our history. I have travelled around the world - to China and Canada - and they wouldn't dream of treating their heritage like this.
"It is crackers. It is totally at odds with national guidelines."
David cites Historic England's Streets For All guide, which says lighting should respect local designs, use authentic materials, and avoid clutter.
One example of what David considers unnecessary work is on Woodstock Road, where HCC has erected a modern lamppost directly beside a historic column with electrical problems.
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He said: "It turns out they are replacing a structurally sound lamppost because of a fuse, which is wasting a lot of money and losing our heritage.
"Putting a new lamppost in is totally unneeded and unwanted."
David has attached a sign to one lamppost, which says "please stop destroying our city's heritage" and is signed off from the "caring tax payers of St Albans".
A spokesperson from HCC said: "Our approach to replacing heritage lighting columns in conservation areas is on a like-for-like basis.
"However, for heritage lights not in conservation areas such as Woodstock Road, we can only do this when sufficient funding is available.
"The particular column in question is structurally sound but electrically unsafe. For this reason, it was decided to cut the power and install a new column until the feasibility of repairing or replacing the old one is assessed.
"This ensures electrical safety for the passing public and maintains continuity of light at the location.
"We will now explore the options open to us and the cost of repairing/replacing the old column.
"In the meantime, the new column will remain operational until the matter is resolved one way or another."