Year-Long Closure of Galley Hill Road Finally Sees Progress and Hope for Resolution

Surveys have officially begun on Galley Hill Road after a year-long closure due to a cliff collapse between Swanscombe and Northfleet. The A226 road has been shut since April last year, causing frustration for residents who have experienced financial, emotional, and physical costs as a result. Finally, a digger has been spotted on the site, bringing hope for progress and a resolution.

Peter Harman, Chairman of the Swanscombe and Greenhithe Residents Association (SGRA), expressed relief at the news, stating that it was good to see progress being made. He also mentioned that the local council, Kent County Council (KCC), has obtained legal access to the southern side of the road from the landowner. However, further negotiations are needed with the two landowners on the northern side before any major work can begin.

Similar investigations have also begun on Folkestone’s Road of Remembrance following two landslides. A spokesperson from KCC stated that discussions with geotechnical engineers have been ongoing to determine the necessary investigations and stabilization works. The complexity of the site, including legal ownership and utility services, has added to the challenge of resolving the issue.

Meanwhile, one landowner has stated that they are seeking reasonable compensation before signing an agreement with KCC to allow contractors onto the site. Jake Hughes, of demolition contractors Lancebox Ltd, has highlighted the financial impact the closure has had on their business. He also expressed frustration at the lack of communication from KCC and the ongoing battles between parties involved.

Earlier this month, residents held a protest to mark one year since the road collapsed. More than 50 residents gathered to express their dissatisfaction at the lack of progress and the negative impact it has had on their daily lives. Ongoing battles between KCC, Thames Water, and landowners have resulted in no visible progress, leaving residents facing traffic issues and sleepless nights.

Despite the challenges, KCC has assured residents that they are working towards a resolution and seeking to finalize access arrangements for contractors to begin work as soon as possible. The hope is that the surveys and investigations currently underway will bring much-needed progress and a resolution to the long-standing issue on Galley Hill Road.

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