Ac­tion call over road col­lapse risk

The Oban Times - - News - STEVEN RAE srae@oban­times.co.uk

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.

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SINK­ING FEEL­ING?: the con­struc­tion work in Con­nel

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