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New Addington boulders to be removed in the autumn at a cost of £20,000

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THE controversial boulders in New Addington are set to be removed later this year - but at a cost of £20,000. The huge rocks, installed in September 2012 via funding from the Mayor of London, are supposed to stop illegal parking in Central Parade. But they have become the butt of local jokes having been variously compared to 'an alien invasion' and like 'something out of The Flintstones'. A recent poll on the Advertiser website revealed 60 per cent of people would like to see the rocks banished from the parade. And it looks like they will get their wish, as Croydon Council has confirmed it is looking to remove the rocks and come up with an alternative solution. The Advertiser was told on Monday the process of removing the boulders was to begin on Wednesday, but it has now been put back to the autumn while the council consults the community on an alternative. New Addington's two new Labour councillors, Oliver Lewis and Louisa Woodley, pledged immediately after their election victory to rid the estate of the 22 boulders. Cllr Lewis has said they will be replaced with something residents want like bins or benches. He added: "Often politicians are criticised for not keeping their promises; this is a clear pledge that we are sticking to. "We were quite comfortably elected and we knocked on hundreds of doors and this was one of the top issues that were coming back to us. "I think most people thought they are fine in themselves but don't fit in with Central Parade. People want something different that is more consistent with Central Parade." Michael Lyons, former chairman of the New Addington Royal British Legion, echoed much of the local reaction by saying the boulders were "nice" but inappropriate for the parade. He said: "They look like they've just been dumped there really, if they were on some grass they would look great. "I think they should put more bins and benches there so people could have somewhere to go and talk through their problems and so people have somewhere to put their rubbish. "At the moment people just come out and throw their Kentucky chicken on the floor." But not everyone is anti the boulders. Ian Dennis, 57, said he is worried the parking problems will return if they are removed, adding; "If they don't replace them then all the cars are going to be parking up there all the time again." And Tony Pearson, former Conservative councillor for New Addington, said the boulders added a "sense of character" to the area but admitted they were a "Marmite issue". He said: "The issue is that the money for the boulders did not come from Croydon Council's budget, it came from the Mayor of London. "Are they going to be taken out of New Addington when that money was for us? "I'm also worried when Labour are spending all this money on Don't Mess With Croydon t-shirts, moving things that don't need to be moved and replacing them with new street furniture, then New Addington's going to lose out because they don't have the money when the next budget's announced." A council spokeswoman said some of the boulders would end up in a council nursery, while some will be placed in the Mitcham Road cemetery. It is not yet known how long the removal will take.

New Addington boulders to be removed in the autumn at a cost of £20,000


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