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Eynsham Village News

Conduit Lane - Latest 14 Mar 2023 15 months, 3 weeks and one day later ... the lane has reopened at last :-)

There was no song and dance to mark the occasion, but sighs of relief all round as resurfacing was completed yesterday. We have stopped the count-up (below) and look forward to the promised ‘information board documenting the history of the site’, as set out in the Heritage Statement.

Conduit Lane count-up

DATELINE 21/02/2023: A glimpse of the past and the future as the barrier comes down for a while. The stonemasons have been making good progress and the workmanship is quite impressive, as the latest photos show. Any blocks of abbey stone discovered will be incorporated in traditional style. The wall has to be sealed with lime mortar and capped when reconstruction is complete. The County Council will then resurface the path before finally reopening the lane.

realigning and rebuilding the south wall

DATELINE 29/11/2022: Reconstruction of the wall continues ... and the paperwork catches up. The official notice of closure for this footpath has just been extended, as required by the Department for Transport. County Councillor Dan Levy points out that these Temporary Traffic Regulation Orders run for 6 months, ‘or until completion of the works, whichever is the earlier’. The intention is to have Conduit Lane reopened early in the new year.

DATELINE 22/11/2022: Reconstruction of the wall began today - Jay Morris reports. ‘As the closure of Conduit Lane has caused some upset amongst the residents of Eynsham, I thought I’d let you all know we have today started construction of and the alley will re-open in due course.’

County Council officers warn that the work is weather-dependent, however: it may be held up if temperatures fall below freezing.

DATELINE 02/09/2022: The hoarding erected today will block access to Conduit Lane until long-awaited repairs are complete.

  • Dismantling of the damaged (section of) wall is due to start on 12 September and take 3-4 weeks.
  • Repair and rebuilding is to be arranged by the property owners, with timing not yet confirmed.

DATELINE 11/08/2022: A victory for common sense! Conduit Lane will reopen shortly, with large concrete blocks retaining the damaged walls. This will make it narrow, but useable. The full repairs should be done later in the summer.

In hindsight, this temporary fix could have been put in place on day one, but the expectation was that any closure would not be for long. The County Council revisited the site after some recent vandalism, and found the way of reopening the route.

Cllr Dan Levy says that he will keep trying to get the permanent repairs done as quickly as possible. It hasn't been the best operation to date, but the end is at sight.

DATELINE 22/04/2022: An Oxfordshire County Council planning application 22/00636/FUL is now on view on the District Council website. It proposes demolition and rebuilding of stone boundary wall in a revised position to allow footpath widening.

The Heritage Statement has more details, amidst a wealth of interesting background information. Key points of the proposal are quoted below.

  • ‘6.1 carefully dismantle and reconstruct the section of wall at 5 Mill Street one metre to the south of its current location. The widening of the lane will allow for safer ... use of the lane...
  • ‘6.2. mitigation measures in the form of the installation of an information board documenting the history of the site and the use of stone laid flush to the floor along the original path of the wall.’

Two category 'C' trees (of low quality, limited merit, etc) will be removed to implement the scheme. The Arboricultural Report proposes various protection measures for one (ash) tree of ‘moderate to high value’.

Deadline for comment has been extended to 20 May

Background reading

Emergency Closure - 19 November 2021


Click to enlarge