Bridgwater wall collapse homes still not 'safe enough'

Part of Bridgwater town centre has been closed off since a section of wall collapsed on Friday night.

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People who had to leave their homes after the partial collapse of a riverside wall in Somerset "can return to collect essential possessions".

Part of Bridgwater town centre has been closed off since a section of wall collapsed on Friday night.

Cracks appeared in the West Quay wall, on the River Parrett, after heavy rain.

A Sedgemoor District Council (SDC) spokesperson said "the buildings are not assessed as being safe enough to allow people to move back in".

An authority and Environment Agency meeting was held on Monday to discuss how to stabilise the wall.

In a statement, following the meeting, a council spokesperson said "the site is still deemed as unsafe".

"It is a complex situation. There are technical difficulties of working in a confined space," they said. "And there will not be a quick fix solution."

According to the authority, specialist monitoring equipment is being used to "ascertain any further movement" and specialists are working to prevent further erosion.

"The priority at present is to stabilise and then work out a long-term solution," the spokesperson said.

Collapsed quay wall in Bridgwater Engineers have been assessing the damage to the wall at West Quay

John Rowlands, from the agency, said it was still too early to say for definite what caused the collapse.

"We had more than 20mm of rainfall in an hour and we suspect that is a contributing factor," he said.

"The surface water drains are not designed to take that amount of water and I suspect that will be a big part of our investigations."

A crane arrived at West Quay on Monday morning to allow workmen to gain access to assess the damage.

Families from 19 properties which were evacuated on Friday will be allowed to return to their homes and businesses to collect essential possessions.

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