Repairs to historic Nostell Priory bridge delayed by discovery of great crested newts

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Repairs to an 18th century bridge near to Nostell Priory have been delayed by the discovery of great crested newts.

Protected birds were also found nesting in the Grade II listed bridge which crosses two lakes near to the priory.

Roadworks and temporary traffic lights have been in place on the A638 for 19 months.

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The council said it is on track to complete the work and fully reopen the road in November.

Repairs to an 18th century bridge near to Nostell Priory have been delayed by the discovery of great crested newts.Repairs to an 18th century bridge near to Nostell Priory have been delayed by the discovery of great crested newts.
Repairs to an 18th century bridge near to Nostell Priory have been delayed by the discovery of great crested newts.

Major damage was caused to the bridge wall when it was struck by a vehicle in January 2022.

Due to extensive cracking, brickwork was dismantled to ground level behind the wall to make the structure safe.

The removal of the brickwork revealed features of “significant archaeological interest”.

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Reconstruction work was carried out to a brick buttress and parapet wall.

As work continued great crested newts and nesting birds, both protected species, were found on site.As work continued great crested newts and nesting birds, both protected species, were found on site.
As work continued great crested newts and nesting birds, both protected species, were found on site.

The work was supposed to be completed in May this year but another delay was caused by the wildlife discovery.

Gary Blenkinsop, the council’s service director for environment, streetscene and climate change, said: “For safety reasons the wall had to be taken down to the foundations.

“Hidden features of historic and archaeological interest were uncovered, meaning we have had to work closely with conservation specialists from Historic England to repair and preserve the wall.

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“As work continued, great crested newts and nesting birds, both protected species, were found on site.

The removal of the brickwork revealed features of "significant archaeological interest."The removal of the brickwork revealed features of "significant archaeological interest."
The removal of the brickwork revealed features of "significant archaeological interest."

“They are legally protected and cannot be disturbed. This resulted in a three month delay.

“We understand people’s frustration.

“We want to thank people for their continued patience.”

Council leader Denise Jeffery described the traffic delays due to the work as “a nightmare” that have “gone on for ever and ever” during an online question and answer session earlier this year.

Roadworks have been in place since January 2022.Roadworks have been in place since January 2022.
Roadworks have been in place since January 2022.

She said: “Apparently, because it is such a specialist job and it’s not in the control of the council we haven’t got a lot of influence on it.

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“The job is unbelievable really, and I’m wondering how much it is costing.”

The bridge, which is owned by the council, was built in 1761.

The priory dates from 1733 and was built for the Winn family.

It was given to the National Trust in 1953.