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Camden News - by DAN CARRIER
Published: 3 July 2008

Dominic Plooy inspects the new surface at the historic Perrins Court
Historic cobbles are lost in tarmac bungle

Town Hall to undo damage after new asphalt surface is placed on top of 18th-century stones

THEY had survived wear and tear for more than 300 years – until a council lorry arrived with a boiling pot of tarmac and took a morning to wreck a historic cobbled side-street in Hampstead.
The Town Hall is facing a bill of thousands of pounds to put right the bungle in Perrins Court, a picturesque cul-de-sac off the High Street, which saw cobblestones covered in asphalt instead of being repaired.
The work took place three weeks ago and now, in the face of a barrage of complaints, the council are considering scraping off the tarmac and starting again.
Dominic Plooy, who runs the Zebra Gallery on the lane, described the work as “vandalism”.
“They were lovely, original cobblestones,” he said.
“The council have done such a bad job and ruined the character of an old Hampstead street.”
Perrins Court dates from the early 18th century. The Perrins family, who owned a pub nearby called The Goose, as well as surrounding land, built the backstreet.
Rinaldo Mollura, who runs Italian restaurant Villa Bianca, added that as well as the ugly look of the new surface, he was annoyed at the cost to taxpayers.
“It used to look so lovely, and it’s been ruined,” he said.
“We heard the cost of repairs was already a problem – now it’s going to cost more to get it right.”
A council spokeswoman confirmed Camden would be looking at re-doing the work.
She said: “Wear and tear over the years meant that some of the cobbles that run along the channels at the side of the road were missing, so part of the work meant moving some to replace these.”
The spokeswoman added that they would now remove the tarmac and restore the cobbles to their former glory.
She added that work would start later this month after additonal new cobbles had been ordered from a specialist quarry.

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