Residents gutted

A council plan to dig up historical bluestone guttering in one of Kyneton’s oldest streets has residents threatening to form a human barricade to prevent the works.
Edgecombe Street residents Dale and Helen Gillis say they appreciate the need for safety improvements to the school precinct along the west side of their street, but argue the residential area along the east side of the street should not be disturbed.
“Council is proposing to rip the heritage assets out of the oldest street in the town and replace them in a different modern configuration,” Mr Gillis said.
“They say that they will put them back, but re-laid with mortar is not protecting or treating our heritage with the respect it deserves.”
While no heritage overlay specifically applies to the bluestone guttering in Kyneton, the planning scheme recognises bluestone gutters as one of the elements that define the town’s character, and advises retention of the bluestone in order to preserve this neighbourhood character.
But council’s director of assets and operations Dale Thornton said discussions had been held with residents, the schools (Our Lady of the Rosary and Kyneton Primary School), the school communities and council’s heritage advisor.
“As a result of this consultation, a plan has been developed to create a low-speed environment near the schools including a drop-off zone,” Mr Thornton said.
“The new plans involve development of two raised school crossings with a 40km/h speed zone in between the crossings.
“The gravel shoulders of the road will be replaced by asphalt, which will be laid to the kerb, and the existing bluestone guttering will be lifted and re-laid to a new depth.
“This will ensure the area is DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) compliant but the existing heritage character of the area is preserved.”
The project budget is $310,000 with works planned for March to May 2019.

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