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Utility companies banned from digging up Guildford setts until at least 2021

before and after setts 2

Then and now – workers mark the end of work to lay the setts Guildford High Street in 1864 and today. Click image to download

Utility companies will be banned from digging up the newly relaid setts on Guildford High Street until at least 2021.

They will not be allowed to touch the setts, which were first laid in 1864, for five years except in the case of an emergency such as a gas leak.

If that happens, any work will need to pass stringent quality checks to ensure the granite stones have been replaced properly.

The news – set out in a letter to residents and businesses – came as the £1 million project to repair the 115,000 setts finished today after six months of painstaking effort.

Surrey County Council and Guildford Borough Council have shared the costs of the work, which started in February.

Peter Martin, Surrey County Council’s deputy leader, said: “Not only are the iconic setts once again ready take the the strain of heavy use, they will not be dug up for at least five years unless there’s an emergency, which goes to show that while money’s tight because of growing demand for services like adult social care there’s still plenty we can do to make a big difference to people’s daily lives.”

Cllr Paul Spooner, leader of Guildford Borough Council, said: “We are delighted that the setts are now back to their former glory. The works have been carried out to a very high standard and we are very pleased that our investment in this project has refreshed our historic high street.”

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