AN INSPECTION has been carried out on a section of a church wall near Chester which collapsed after heavy storms.

Following the advice of the engineer, two main stages of work will be undertaken at St Oswald's Church, Malpas.

Stage one is a temporary repair to make the wall safe and stage two is the permanent repair of the wall.

The investigative surveys, commissioned by Cheshire West and Chester Council, needed for stage one have now been completed.

This included a radar survey to locate hidden voids in the wall that could cause further collapse; a laser scan survey to measure the details of the walls and surveys to identify the locations of burials as well as water, gas, electricity services nearby.

The completion of the surveys means contractors can now been appointed. As part of this process potential contractors visited the site last week and further site visits are scheduled to take place this week.

A review of the survey results has identified additional, ongoing investigations, in the form of small excavations adjacent to the existing wall, are also needed.

There is currently a road closure on Church Street between Old Hall Street and Church Walk with a signed diversion route in place.

The council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for environment, highways and strategic transport, Councillor Karen Shore said: “We understand the road closure is inconvenient for both Malpas residents and visitors, and will continue to do all we can to ensure these works progress as quickly as possible. We appreciate the ongoing support and patience of the local community.”

Once the stage one works are complete it will be possible for the road to re-open using temporary traffic signals. It is still expected that the temporary works will be completed early summer, depending on contractor availability.

Once the council has secured contractors to carry out the works further details will be announced.