Is this the end of the line for churchyard wall which has been labelled a danger to public safety?
08:30 04 July 2014
A churchyard wall which is on the point of collapse has been labelled a risk to public safety.
The wall separates the grounds of St Andrew’s Church, in Sutton, with The Glebe public hall and has been sectioned off in parts from the public because of fears that it may collapse and cause injury.
Sutton Parish Council has been forced to act and has submitted plans to demolish the wall as a matter of urgency.
Engineers from Prior Associates were called in by the council to assess the wall and said they were in “no doubt” that it was dangerous.
The company’s report noted: “We are in no doubt that the wall, particularly where bulging close to trees, is unstable. It is in such a condition that we consider it is approaching ‘dangerous structure’ situation.”
The report added that the trees growing in close proximity to the wall were to blame for its gradual deterioration and that it would continue to get worse.
It added: “As the trees continue to grow the instability of the wall will become worse until the wall collapses. This situation cannot be allowed to arise, as it would be a risk to public safety.”
As a result, the parish council proposes to demolish the wall and five lime trees which are growing behind it. The council says the trees are about 30-years-old and “not particularly attractive”. A web of ivy which has grown up in and around the wall – and added to its damage - will also be removed.
The driveway that leads to The Glebe, together with its car park, are also to be resurfaced as part of the works.
The council says, by way of mitigation, that it will replant five trees “of a less intrusive nature” further away from the wall. These could be silver birch, rowan or field maple.