Lengthy Legal Battle Ends, Investigation into Swanscombe Landslip Site Finally Begins

Full Investigation Begins on Swanscombe Landslip Site After Lengthy Legal Battle

After over a year of legal disputes and delays, a full investigation into the site of a cliff collapse on the A226 Galley Hill Road in Swanscombe is set to begin.

Kent County Council has finally been granted access to the entire site by landowners Lancebox, allowing for a thorough probe into the cause of the landslide.

The closed section of the A226 Galley Hill Road in Swanscombe has been a major inconvenience since April. Photo: High Profile Aerial

The decision was made at a meeting adjudicated by Cllr Peter Harman and Cllr Ann Duke, of the Swanscombe and Greenhithe Residents Association. Work is scheduled to start this weekend on the north side of the collapsed road, with further investigations taking place over the bank holiday weekend to minimize disruption.

This news comes after months of unsuccessful attempts by KCC to gain access to the site, leading to threats of legal action against the landowners. In April, a digger appeared on the south side of the road to survey the underlying chalk spine, but access to the north side was denied.

At a residents’ meeting last month, KCC Highways senior manager Toby Howe stated that there would be “no more Mr Nice Guy” and promised to obtain a high court injunction if necessary.

With the investigation now underway, a cost for repairs can be determined. This is welcome news for residents who have been eagerly awaiting the road’s reopening.

However, earlier this month, their hopes were dampened when Dartford MP Gareth Johnson called upon the government to cover the upfront costs of repairs. While Minister for Roads and Local Transport Guy Opperman acknowledged the inconvenience caused by the road closure, he stopped short of committing government funds to the project.

For now, the focus remains on completing the investigation and finding a solution to reopen the road as soon as possible.

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