It’s hoped a closed footway, which residents on a Ruddington estate usually use to gain easy access to our village centre, should be open again before too long.
The jitty between Elms Park and Elms Gardens was closed by Nottinghamshire County Council (NCC) over three months’ ago when it was reported that a wall alongside it was crumbling (photos courtesy of Paul Witney). Bricks from it had fallen on to the path – so a decision was made by NCC to prevent public access on health and safety grounds. Barriers have been in place ever since – meaning (officially, at least) pedestrians have had to take a considerably longer walk to access High Street and The Green via Kirk Lane.
The wall in question is historically the boundary of the old orchard at Elms Farm (shown here on an old map) and it’s believed to pre-date the property now alongside it by very many years. Consequently home owner Kelly Hardy had always assumed it belonged to the Council. The lengthy delay before anything’s been done was because ownership issues had to be addressed.
Kendra Hourd, on behalf on NCC, told us:
“It has been established that the wall is the responsibility of the adjacent landowner and we are working with them to remove the hazard it currently poses before the footpath can be reopened.”
To repair the ancient wall would run into thousands of pounds, so it looks as if the only option open to Kelly will be to demolish the unsafe section: “Unfortunately we don’t have much time – as I’ve only got 14 days now to resolve the issue” explained Kelly. “They have given notice that I need to identify a formal plan of action to open the alleyway – otherwise I will incur all charges. I need something sorted ASAP. The cost of rebuilding the wall would be extortionate. I definitely cannot afford that!”
Now Kelly is appealing to see if there is anyone in the village who may be prepared to restore the wall more cheaply – before she makes a decision which will mean an interesting piece of Ruddington’s past is lost forever.
“I had a local builder round who has said he will build a pillar to support the wall – but we will be shortening it back to the shed as he says the front bit is beyond repair. My main concern is what happens when the garages come down to build the houses the other end?!” said Kelly.
NCC added: “While we are aware of the affordability of such actions on the landowner’s part, we hope this will be resolved and the footpath reopened by the end of this month at the latest.”
If you think you may be able to help Kelly in some way, please contact RUDDINGTON.info and we’ll put you in touch.
UPDATE 14th FEB 2019:
We can report that the wall has now been taken down by contractors and the footpath reopened. As you can see, the old bricks have been preserved – so perhaps there’s still chance to restore this historic village boundary to its former glory?