RETROSPECTIVE works to secure a cliff face at the back of Haverfordwest’s Lidl store have been given the backing of county planners.
Lidl UK Ltd, through agent CarneySweeney, sought retrospective permission for the retention of works to stabilise cliff face at the rear of the Perrots Road store.
Works started in March 2017 and were finished by March 2021.
A report for planners says that when the store was built, following a 2016 application, a retaining wall was omitted due to difficulties in excavation to form foundations.
The slope to be retained was cut back to a steep angle and unauthorised slope retention measures were incorporated.
A 2018 amendment to the approved scheme was submitted, seeking approval to allow highway infrastructure alterations and for works to secure the stability of the slope to the rear of the premises.
That was subject to a part refusal; the works to the slope were refused as no supporting information has been submitted with regard to the structural integrity or otherwise of the slope and the supporting structure, the report for planners says.
Following the part refusal and commencement of enforcement action by the local authority, the latest planning application has been made to authorise the works that have been implemented.
The retaining work has entailed the removal of loose material and infilling with concrete that has been anchored into rock at 23 points, covered with rock fall netting.
Although no further deterioration has been observed, the report advises continuation of an existing monitoring regime of six-monthly inspection of the retained wall/rock face, with any defect being reported to Lidl’s engineer for review, assessment, and appropriate action.
“The Head of Infrastructure (Structural Engineer) has reviewed the application supporting documentation and visited the application site. Whilst aspects of the implemented works may be criticised, he has advised that the slope appears stable and that there do not appear to be any signs of imminent collapse. He recommends inspections as part of a regular maintenance regime,” the report says.
It concludes: “The applicant has undertaken unauthorised works to the slope. If this has led to damage to adjoining property as alleged, it is a private civil matter for the property owner to pursue with the applicant. However, no evidence has been supplied to substantiate this claim.
“The works have been undertaken to ensure stability of the slope and officers conclude that on balance, in light of the advice of the Head of Infrastructure (Structural Engineer), that it is appropriate to approve the works retrospectively to achieve this aim.”
The application was conditionally approved by planning officers.