Warwick house could be demolished to reopen a street where residents have had no road access for over a year
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Water and council bosses are considering forcing through the demolition of a house in order to reopen a Warwick street where residents have had no road access for 18 months.
Subsidence caused by a burst water main led to safety concerns over homes and the highway on Priory Mews, Warwick, in February 2022.
All road access has been closed, meaning residents in the homes that are still being occupied cannot get vehicle access.
Warwickshire County Council is responsible for highways but Councillor Jan Matecki, portfolio holder for transport and planning since May this year, insisted at last week's full council meeting that progress was on hold until Severn Trent Water cuts a deal with the last remaining homeowner.
Leader of the Labour group Councillor John Holland, who raised this issue in March, instigated the push for more answers.
He said: “The most similar subsidence we have had to that was identified on a Monday and repaired by the county within a week.”
“This subsidence in Priory Mews is now 18 months on.
"The road is closed, the people who live there have lost vehicle access to their houses and their lives are being made extremely difficult by the failure of the county council to repair the road.
“There has also been a half-hearted attempt to block off the public right of way – of course it is our job to keep them open.
“One of the most ridiculous things I have heard is that Severn Trent will repair it.
“There are some houses that will need to be demolished, which is a private matter between the property owners and Severn Trent that has proceeded very slowly.
“For 18 months, this council has refused to repair this road and give the residents reasonable access to their own property.”
Cllr Matecki replied: “There is a significant void under the carriageway that will need to be filled and that can only be done once Severn Trent has demolished the four houses on either side of the road.
“Three of the four houses have been purchased by Severn Trent’s insurers and they are moving to complete the purchase of the remaining property.
“The road cannot be reopened until the work to fill the void has been done and this cannot be progressed with the heavy machinery required until the houses have been demolished.
“The land slip involved is with the Severn Trent water main, which is why responsibility for the repair remains with Severn Trent.
“Mark Ryder and Scott Tompkins (directors at Warwickshire County Council) recently met with directors from Severn Trent to ensure this issue was being escalated and pushed forward as quickly as possible to resolution and repair.
“I can assure you it is not possible to make the repair without the demolition of the homes so it is not possible, as you suggest, to make the repair and claim back the costs from Severn Trent.”