Sunday, 23 September 2018

Pond wall is safe... for now

THE wall by Widmore Pond in Sonning Common is in need of repair.

An inspection report says the condition of the wall will become worse if the work is not done.

Up and Under, of Cheshire, was hired by the parish council to examine the wall in Widmore Lane after a councillor raised concerns that it was in danger of collapse.

The company, which was paid more than £2,000, says that in fact the 50m long wall is in a “generally acceptable condition” and there are no visible defects to give “immediate cause for concern”.

However, the report continues: “Many defects were identified that are likely to compromise the durability of the parapet wall should no remedial action be taken to rectify them.

“The main cause of deterioration appears to be historical vehicle impact damage indicated by misalignment of the brick course and poor or unsympathetic repairs.

“Localised deterioration, particularly cracks, areas of bulging and joint loss, appear to be caused by vegetation growth in addition to more extensive general weathering throughout the structure.

“In addition to addressing the specific defects identified, consideration should be given to modification of the road to prevent vehicles passing each other immediately above the structure, where they evidently mount the verge above the wall, causing damage to the kerb.

“One solution may be to reduce traffic past the structure to a single direction either by traffic lights or give way/priority signage.

“In the short term, routine maintenance, including removal of vegetation and pointing works, are recommended.

“The kerb line should be reinstated, ensuring an adequate foundation and backing to the kerbs and a concrete repair should be applied to the cracked and spalled area of the verge.

“In the longer term, consideration should be given to improving drainage through the wall.”

Parish clerk Philip Collings said any remedial work would be complicated due to the pond being so close to the narrow road.

He said: “It could be a difficult thing to do with traffic coming past and storage of equipment overnight.”

Councillor Dirk Jones, who raised concerns about the wall in January, said that it was important to widen the verge, which was also suggested in the report.

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