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West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds plans essential repairs to historic wall after issues found that 'pose a threat to pedestrians'




A college is to carry out essential repairs to a historic wall in Bury St Edmunds after a survey found issues which 'pose a threat to pedestrians'.

West Suffolk College, in Out Risbygate, has sought listed building consent to fix the Grade II listed perimeter wall, which originally formed the east, south and west boundaries to the Gibraltar Barracks.

An application to West Suffolk Council said a condition survey found 'general deterioration' to the wall caused by age, with work required to prevent 'accelerated decay and potential failures'.

West Suffolk College has asked for listed building consent to repair the wall. Picture: Mark Westley
West Suffolk College has asked for listed building consent to repair the wall. Picture: Mark Westley

Examples of such failures include masonry falling from height which 'presents a significant risk' to students, visitors and the general public.

A heritage, design and access statement said the repairs would help stabilise eroded bricks and mortar joints, some of which 'pose a threat to pedestrians'.

It said work would be carried out on the northern section of the wall within the college campus and to the western boundary.

The wall on the western side, where there is a footpath, is leaning with potentially loose bricks. Picture: Mark Westley
The wall on the western side, where there is a footpath, is leaning with potentially loose bricks. Picture: Mark Westley

A footpath may have to be sectioned off to allow contractors to work on the western side of the wall, which is leaning with potentially loose bricks.

Richard Stevenson, group operations director at West Suffolk College, said the Gibraltar Barracks have been in Bury for almost 150 years and the building and surrounding walls were an 'important part of the town's history'.

"We feel duty bound to maintain this history and that is why we have put in an application to help preserve its important heritage," he said.

"If the application is successful, the college will work with the relevant authorities and our contractors on behalf of the local community to ensure that minimal disruption occurs whilst any renovation work takes place."

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