Lawyer’s field, complete with paddling pool and swing, in happier times (embedded Dudley Archives Photo)
The same view today – entrance blocked off with eyesore fencing
The ugly fencing which is preventing access to Lawyer’s Field from Church Street might be adjusted to allow pedestrian access, although council officials say there is not enough money to effect necessary repairs at the present time.
Fifteen months ago, in May 2013, Highway engineers briefed local councillors on the issue:
During a routine inspection of the highway by Highway Maintenance Inspectors it was observed that part of the footway in Church Street was collapsing into a void.
An inspection of the site by Highway Structures revealed that the stone retaining wall supporting the highway was partially collapsed and in a poor condition.
During the inspection it was observed that the brick retaining wall supporting the footpath into the playing field site was also badly cracked and in need of remedial works.
As an emergency measure the section of footpath, affected by the wall, in Church Street was fenced off and the pedestrian access to the playing fields was closed to safeguard the public whilst the problem is rectified.
When asked about progress last week engineers said:
A preliminary design has been looked at however at this stage funds for any remedial works are not yet available and therefore we are monitoring the safety related protective works until a decision is made on how to correct this situation.
Of course to establish whether funds being available requires looking at what else is on the ‘priorities’ list and assessing the scheme against that. Hopefully councillors will press to get this eyesore addressed and restore this important access point to the park.
On which point there is some potential good news. Following on from the email the parks department have requensted that on the next scheduled inspection the engineer will consider if there is scope to open up for pedestrian use only. At least this would be a step forward.
Litter strewn, ugly and no public access from Church Street – Lawyer’s Field as it is today