Unstable path stops work on new house in Broseley - with pictures
Work to build a new house has halted after the ground on a neighbouring footpath became unstable.
The ancient woodland path, known as Pugh's Jitty, in Broseley Wood, has also been closed to the public on safety grounds.
The property owners have planning approval for the house on the plot, in Sycamore Road, which lies between the jitty and Bradley Bank.
But matters came to a head when the jitty became unstable after contractors working on the house site moved in.
Police and planning officers were called in after concerns were raised by neighbouring residents over the state of the path.
Plot owner Ian Searle, 49, said the house building will continue when the remedial ground work has been resolved.
"There has been a small hitch affecting the public right of way. Our boundary is next to it. We have been asked by the council to carry out remedial work to shore it up," he said.
Shropshire Council’s planning services manager Ian Kilby said: “Planning permission has been granted for the erection of a single dwelling on land adjacent to a footpath known as Pugh’s Jitty.
“Construction work has commenced and, during this, the adjacent footpath became unstable, so it has been closed to the public for reasons of safety on a temporary basis while repairs are identified and undertaken.”
The plot being re-developed was previously the site of a house that was destroyed in a blaze in the 1970s.
The developers were given the green light in 2017 for a contemporary design house despite concerns by neighbours over the height of the water table, ground stability, drainage, access to the premises and that the style was out of keeping with the area.
The matter was also discussed at Broseley Town Council last week.
Councillor David Turner, area representative for Much Wenlock, said: "The jitty remains closed on safety grounds. Officers met with the builder on October 3 and advised him to secure the site and employ an engineer who will first determine a solution to reinstate the jitty and provide adequate retention, given that the adjacent development site is being excavated to a lower level.
"There is a lot of made-up ground with loose fill within the jitty which had little structural integrity. Shropshire Council is progressing matters with the builder and will update me when there is a solution and date for remediation. Residents and Broseley Town Council will be updated accordingly.
"This is a sorry tale of what can go wrong with re-development of a brownfield site. Sycamore Road is a very narrow road in Broseley’s conservation area, leading off Cobwell Road which, in turn, is a steep residential street leading off Bridge Road.
"Although work has commenced on site it is currently suspended," Councillor Turner said.
Pugh's Jitty is thought to be about 400 years old. In the 17th century Broseley Wood developed a maze of cottages for immigrant miners in a network of lanes and footpaths known locally as jitties.