Monday, 8 September 2008

Rock Walk repairs delayed

Below is an article from the local paper.
Basically what is happening is Torbay Coucil have decided that before they start work they have to ask for planning permission; from themselves. Lets hope it isn't refused. One question, why did it take them this long to work that little detail out? Next question, what else haven't they done that needs doing?

Monday, September 08, 2008, 09:34
9 readers have commented on this story.Click here to read their views.

WORK on 'shoring up' Torquay's Rock Walk is to be delayed.

Torbay Council has decided it should ask itself for planning permission before the repair scheme is started.
The cliff stabilisation and protection works should have started at the end of October but have been put back by at least four weeks.
Four companies have been short-listed to do the work.
Cllr Chris Lewis (pictured) has once again reiterated that the work is necessary for the safety of residents and visitors.

A council spokesman said the council had decided it should submit a planning application to itself.
"Initially it was thought we didn't need planning permission, but then when it was investigated it was found another seaside resort had done similar work without planning permission which had caused problems when something went wrong during the process," the spokesman said.
"It was decided that permission would be sought as a precaution. Originally we planned to start the work at the end of October, this has been delayed because of the planning permission until the end of November."
Half of Torquay's seafront road has been closed since the cliff face was cleared in the spring.
It is expected to cost up to £1.5million — more than twice the price originally estimated by Torbay Council — to stabilise the cliff face.
A geological survey revealed parts of the former garden are more dangerous than first thought and will need extensive works.
Cabinet member Chris Lewis said: "There is a huge amount of planning that goes into a project like this before work can begin and the council is making great progress.
"A Rock Walk steering group has been set up with relevant members and officers to help keep the project on track.
"A planning application has also been submitted for the stabilisation work, which we endeavour to start during the first week of November and is expected to take 28 weeks.
"Earlier in the year the council received nine expressions of interest from companies keen to be involved in the essential rock and soil stabilisation works and following reference and financial checks we have now short-listed four very experienced companies," said Mr Lewis.
"The council has now invited the companies to tender for the contract with a closing date of noon on Tuesday, October 7.
"I would once again like to reiterate that this work is being carried out for the safety of our visitors and residents and to protect the long-term future of Rock Walk.
"Officers and members involved in the project are committed to ensuring that the work is carried out as quickly as possible and will be providing regular updates of the progress.
"In the meantime attractive boards have been placed around the harbourside providing residents and visitors with information on the project and these will also be updated as it progresses."
An ecological survey of the gardens has been started by external consultants and should be complete by the end of this week.
Cllr Lewis added: "We are working on a funding bid for £350,000 that has to be in for next week for the restoration planting and other work, and a capital bid is in for council funding for the stabilisation work."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The comments in the Herald Express say it all. Sadly the next council elections are nearly three years away. Until then we have to put up with the ridiculous antics of the senior officials of this council.

For the most urgent work seriously affecting the viability of the holiday industry in this town, work crying out to be done for the past six months now is delayed yet again. For heaven's sake MAKE IT HAPPEN! - that's what councillors are paid (yes paid quite a lot of money) to do.

The only precedent I know is similar totally irresponsible behaviour by past management at Torbay United Football Club. Everyone could see the blindingly obvious at the time - even the gift of hindsight wasn't needed. And look where that took the football club - into relegation and there they will, sadly, probably stay.

And we have the same ridiculous incompetence at senior level on the council only now we have the own goal of own goals this useless council keep scoring. Their traffic management is useless - you'll know that as a bus driver. You'll also know how the tourists and locals feel about the eyesore of Rock Walk and its hoarding because your passengers tell you. And who is in charge of the council's traffic management and Rock Walk? - the same Cllr Lewis.

Notes about the blog. Updated 08 March 2008

Not much is happening at Rock Work now. All the work clearing the trees has been done. A barrier has been erected to prevent rock falls from reaching the road. Now we wait for the geological survey in May to see what can be done to fix the rocks in place.
After that when work starts again later in the year I will post more photos.
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