Resident unhappy with bluestone paving project in historic laneway

Resident unhappy with bluestone paving project in historic laneway
Brendan Rees

A Carlton resident has expressed his dissatisfaction after a project to reset loose bluestone pavers in his street “looks exactly the same as before”, while causing a gate not to be opened.

The City of Melbourne recently dug up Goldspink Place which it said was in poor condition with the pavers needing to be lifted and reset to “improve functionality and aesthetics”.

But resident Tim Swain said that he didn't notice any difference in the appearance or function of the 60-metre laneway, which was a century old.

He believed there was a “total avoidance of any rationale or justification for it by the City of Melbourne” after works took place from October 16 to 27.

“This project took three weeks, looks exactly the same as before. No one at City of Melbourne took any responsibility or could provide any rationale for this work.”

He also questioned how funding was allocated to such a project and whether priority should be given to other road projects that needed upgrading and improvements.

The City of Melbourne said the laneway, located between Grattan St and University St, was reconstructed as part of its 2023/24 annual road renewal works program. 

“The laneway was in poor condition, with loose and unsafe bluestone pavers – which were lifted and reset,” it said in a statement.

“Minor damage to the driveway of one of the adjoining properties was caused during the work and rectified quickly.”

“The gateway mentioned was already damaged prior to the construction works.”

While Mr Swain acknowledged there were some uneven bluestone pavers mainly at the Rathdowne St end, none “were loose or could justify completely doing the entire laneway”.

He said the project also caused inconvenience and disruption to the residents.

“The time, cost to ratepayers and disruption to the six residents involved in this one small activity is symptomatic of decision making at town hall,” he said.

He said one the gates to a property were unable to be opened properly.

“There was no monitoring or inspection, and it was only after I contacted Citywide (the contractor who then sub-contracted the works to another company) that both the clean-up of the lane and repairs to damaged gates after it was supposedly finished were undertaken.”

Caption: Tim Swain is unhappy about works undertaken at Goldspink Place. Photo: Hanna Komissarova.

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