Council’s £376,000 bill for wall damage

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THE council has spent nearly £376,000 on repairing a river wall just feet away from a row of houses.

Investigations failed to show who owned the wall and the land affected and on this occasion the council decided to step in.

“Legally, we could have left the residents to fend for themselves but morally, we just had to help, otherwise several houses could have collapsed into the river,” said Coun Barry Collins.

The wall, about 60ft long and 14ft high in places, held back the ground behind Copperas House Terrace, in Walsden, Todmorden.

It fell into Walsden Water following heavy rain in October 2010 leaving the properties at risk of structural damage from further erosion of the river bank.

One resident, Julie Parry, said: “We would like to thank all Calderdale Council’s team for their hard work and perseverance in completing the project and keeping us informed of progress.

“The contractors have done a fine job and were very helpful and accommodating whilst they were working here - we are extremely grateful to everyone that has helped turn a disaster street back into a nice place to live.”

Despite complications, Eric Wright Civil Engineering Ltd completed the work within budget.

Councillor Collins, the council’s economy and environment spokesman, said: “Finding a viable solution was hard enough, but, to carry it through, on-budget, in the cold winter months, was a superb piece of work. The council’s action to reinstate the wall has now removed the risk of the problem escalating into something far more serious.”

Most of the cost of work has been funded by the council, with a contribution from Yorkshire Regional Flood and Coastal Committee. Contributions are being sought from Yorkshire Water and the householders’ insurance companies.