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A verdict reached today (18 December) confirms where responsibility sits for the works needed on a wall that has kept a road closed for over a year.

The C1257 through Symonds Yat has been closed since June 2018. Throughout, the council and its highway partner, Balfour Beatty Living Places, have acknowledged their own responsibilities for the works needed to repair the damaged road and we have put plans in place to do so. This verdict confirms that the responsibility for the condition of the privately owned wall sits with the owners and the notice served by the council in April 2019 seeking its repair was valid.

Works must be carried out to both the wall and road before the road can safely be reopened. The council took action under section 167 of the Highways Act to secure the repairs of the wall and enable it to act to do so in the event that those responsible did not.

The notice was appealed, and the matter has been going through due legal process for several months.

A judge today concluded that the notice was valid and properly serviced. Having taken advice, we must now allow reasonable time for action to take place in accordance with our 167 notice.

Cllr John Harrington, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Transport, said: “We are sensitive to the impact this closure continues to have on the local community and we fully understand that feelings of frustration have grown during this lengthy process. We would like to thank local residents and businesses for their continued patience.

“We have endeavoured at all times to treat all with respect and consideration, and we regret that legal action became necessary. Our priority remains the same as it was eighteen months ago: to ensure the road can safely be reopened at the earliest opportunity. We will continue to work with the owners of the wall to make sure that this happens, and we will notify residents once further details are available.”

Published: Wednesday, 18th December 2019