As many of you will be aware, the footpath on Conduit Lane is currently closed. This is because a section of wall was identified as unstable and at risk of collapse by a Structural Engineer. We have fielded a number of enquiries from local residents about when the footpath may re-open.
The latest information we have from Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) is that the lane will likely be closed for several months due to various factors. Firstly, the wall is Grade II Listed and so there are strict legal requirements governing any repairs or reconstruction. This will require going through a planning process with West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC), inevitably slowing down the process.
Secondly, the wall had already been a point of discussion, with plans to re-locate part of it and so widen access in the lane at the Mill Street end. OCC has decided that re-location of the wall remains the best long-term solution for the community and a short-term, temporary fix would not be cost effective. Furthermore, OCC’s Structural Engineer has assessed the length of the wall and found that other parts are also structurally unsound.
In a meeting with the Parish Council and Cllr Dan Levy in mid November, it was suggested to OCC that all landowners work together with the aim of reducing the potential overall length of time and number of occasions that Conduit Lane will be closed.
Unfortunately, due to the complexities details above, the footpath will remain closed for many months (possibly until Easter or early summer next year) while planning approval is obtained and work completed.
The Parish Council has asked OCC to consider:
- Improving signage to alternative access routes to/from the village centre (Wasties Lane or John Lopes Road)
- Re-opening Conduit Lane if the wall can be temporarily made safe
- Improving the barriers to prohibit access more effectively to keep pedestrians safe
We will also work with WODC to secure planning permission as soon as possible. OCC acknowledge this is a huge inconvenience for residents and apologise for the disruption it causes.
A map showing the alternative access routes is shown below (open the PDF document for a clear view) for ease of reference. We are mindful that SGN works are currently being undertaken in Acre End Street, which further complicates access issues in the village. We will work closely with OCC to monitor progress and will provide further updates in due course. These will be shared online; keep an eye on the website.