Council say repairs to giant Henry Penn Walk sink hole in Peterborough city centre could 'cost millions'

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“It isn't acceptable that taxpayers' money should be used to repair it”

Proposals for works to fix a giant sink hole on a riverside path in Peterborough city centre have been submitted – but it is still unclear when the problem could be fixed.

The hole appeared on Henry Penn Walk, near Rivergate in the city centre, a number of years ago, and along with being an eyesore, has forced the closure of the path ever since.

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A long running dispute between Riverview House Freehold Ltd (RHFL) and Peterborough City Council followed, as it could not be agreed who was responsible for carrying out the repair works.

The sink hole has opened up on  Henry Penn walkThe sink hole has opened up on  Henry Penn walk
The sink hole has opened up on Henry Penn walk

Now that dispute has been settled, with Land Registry confirming the land was not owned by the council, leaving RHFL to foot the bill to fix the path.

However, it is not clear when those works will start.

This week, Peterborough MP Paul Bristow has called for the works to be started as soon as possible, saying the council and RHFL should come together to find a solution ‘once and for all.’

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The sink hole in Henry Penn WalkThe sink hole in Henry Penn Walk
The sink hole in Henry Penn Walk

A spokesperson said: “We are as frustrated as our MP and many others about the footpath on Henry Penn Walk but it is not council land and therefore it isn't acceptable that taxpayers' money should be used to repair it, particularly when it could cost millions of pounds to do so.

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"We are committed to seeing the problem resolved and that is why we continue to work with the landowner to help them to develop a suitable reconstruction plan.’’

A spokesperson for RHFL said: “Following lengthy legal investigation Riverview House Freehold Ltd (“RHFL”) has only recently been confirmed as the registered owner of the land underneath the walkway at Henry Penn Walk.

"We currently await approval of the plans from Peterborough City Council before any remedial works can commence and also confirmation from Peterborough City Council as to whether any form of financial support can be provided to the residents of RFHL to complete the required works.

"The directors and members of RFHL are all entirely made up of leaseholders of Riverview House and therefore are those that are most severely impacted by the condition of Henry Penn Walk.”