Action call over road collapse risk
FEARS that a road could collapse in Connel have been raised by community councillors in the village.
Oban contractor, JMJ, had received planning consent to build a house in the village, but the council called a halt to the excavation work at Lower Lora House, which is adjacent to the village hall, when residents raised serious concerns about the safety of the road.
The excavation was discussed as an urgent item at the recent community council meeting, having been added at the last minute to the agenda.
As part of the planning conditions, JMJ was instructed to build a retaining wall to ensure the excavation work would not weaken Lora Road.
However, excavation work to the south bank, next to the road, began without the wall in place.
Chairman Sandy Dunlop told the community council: ‘I can’t stress how serious this is. It’s really quite frightening - the whole thing could collapse. And if the road was to be shut off completely, the village shop would suffer.’
Secretary Les Stewart added: ‘If a crack in the tarmac appears, the road will shut, we will lose the bus route and children will have to cross on the main road. It’s not a good situation to be in. It may be that a disaster is will bring it to a head.’
Councillor for Oban North and Lorn, Elaine Robertson, said she would do all she could by contacting planners, the roads department, the ward councillors and the area committee, highlighting the issues.
A spokesman for Argyll and Bute council said: ‘Disappoint- ingly, this developer proceeded with work despite failing to satisfy a condition attached to the planning approval.
‘The developer must have the plans for a retaining wall next to the public road agreed by our engineering team.
‘These plans have been submitted, but we require further information (a design certificate certified by a structural engi- neer) before we could consider the plans suitable.
The spokesman continued: ‘After we became aware of this, we acted quickly to ensure that work was stopped and that the developer will put measures in place to shore up the excavation next to the road.
‘We understand a temporary shoring mechanism will be put in place.
‘If appropriate measures are not put in place, we will have to issue a formal notice.
‘We have coned off the excavated area to ensure public safety and further protect the integrity of the carriageway.
‘The area in front of the build is likely to be unavailable for onstreet parking for some time.’
A spokesman for JMJ declined to comment.
SINKING FEELING?: the construction work in Connel