Residents of an Upper Norwood street have criticised the council for replacing Victorian-style lighting columns with modern ones.

As part of a borough-wide programme to upgrade street lights, new street lamps have been fitted along Mowbray Road, but residents are unhappy with the replacements and claim the design is not in keeping with the style of the area.

Phil Kendall, a paramedic who lives on the road said: "The lampposts are in keeping with the character of the area, they were one of the things that attracted me to the street. They only need a paint I think they are gorgeous.

"What are they going to do with them all? The council are ignoring what the tax payers want in this street, nobody wants them to be replaced."

Members of the Norwood Society have written to the council urging them to retain the existing columns, but to adapt them to include the new energy efficient lighting.

Another resident Mark Richardson added: "The council say they are upgrading to energy efficient Windsor lanterns, but the green thing to do would be to upgrade what we have rather than digging up the whole street."

A spokesman for Croydon Council said: "The council is investing heavily in putting in new columns to replace many that are now well past the end of their safe and useful life.

"The new system will be more energy efficient, provide a far better standard of illumination and be easier to maintain. We are looking at varying the column designs in conservation areas where this is appropriate."