Beverley cobbles could be listed to prevent destruction
A BID by conservationists to have ancient Beverley cobbles given listed status could secure their future or at least delay their removal by several months.
Beverley Civic Society made the application when it thought the removal of the stone setts would start this week.
It meant, with a decision on the setts' listed status pending, they would have to be left alone.
In the event, the safeguard is unlikely to be needed.
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To allow further consultation, East Riding Council changed the works schedule of its £2.5m revamp in Saturday Market so the stone setts would not be affected until towards the end of the eight-month operation.
Professor Barbara English, of Beverley Civic Society, said: "You can only apply to have something spot-listed when it is in immediate danger of destruction.
"We thought the work was about to start this week."
The council's decision to allow more talks follows a series of vocal protests by people opposed to the removal of the stone setts.
Two marches through Beverley were followed, last Wednesday, by more than 200 people protesting outside county hall in Beverley ahead of the full council meeting.
At the meeting, Councillor David Elvidge asked whether the council should consider reusing the setts.
Council leader Stephen Parnaby said that had always been the intention.
He said: "I have also instructed officers to re-phase the scheme with works to the setts now scheduled in the latter part of the project to allow further discussions with stakeholders. A revised timetable will be published shortly."
No further information has been released about the scope of the discussions or the new timetable.
Prof English said: "They probably won't start on the setts for about four months.
"We feel it gives us all some breathing space and the possibility of a wider consultation.
"It's a reprieve we weren't expecting."
Prof English says she is now keen to work with the council on the wider consultation. She feels it should include all the statutory bodies that would be involved in a planning application.
She said: "If they open the doors, everyone who makes the decision will get to know how much interest there is in this.
"I don't think the initial consultation was wide enough or effective enough."
The newly phased Saturday Market scheme will get under way this week, weather permitting.
It is understood contractors will now start work at the north end of the market place next to Sow Hill.
The work will involve widening pavements and making it easier for pedestrians, particularly those with pushchairs and wheelchairs.