‘Looking good’ step forward to major road reopening in Ottery

Good news as the outer scaffolding is starting to come down. Picture: Jeff Abbott

Good news as the outer scaffolding is starting to come down. Picture: Jeff Abbott - Credit: Archant

Highway officers look set to give the green light to reopening Silver Street following last month’s major fire.

Removal work taking down support scaffolding from the front began today (Thursday) with further good news the road may reopen soon with temporary traffic lights.

Scaffolding was put up to stabilise the building the day after the fire, which resulted in the closure of one of the town’s main routes.

Devon county councillor Claire Wright says she has spoken with highway officers today and says it is a question of when.

Cllr Wright said: “It will be fantastic if we had Silver Street open again. It’s been a very difficult few weeks with cars reversing up and down Batts Lane and Chapel Lane and up and down Cornhill to get through the town.

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“I’m really pleased to hear the news.”

Since the fire on September 14, contractors have worked to clear rubble before builders could begin to demolish the chimney brick by brick and build new timbers to reinforce the roof.

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Landlord of the building David Hemmings says it is a ‘step in the right direction’ towards the road being reopened, if it is deemed safe by Devon highways.

Mr Hemmings, who owns Coles, said: “It is one thing we have been eagerly awaiting, we are getting there.

“We are getting closer to the road being possibly open. We haven’t had approval yet from Devon highways.

“I have been up there today talking with the contractors as well and it is looking quite good.

“The roof is secured, everything is bolted together and it’s nice and secure. There’s a lot of work to be done on the front.”

A Devon County Council spokesman said: “The scaffolding is currently being removed and we are aiming to reopen the road on Friday morning under temporary traffic lights.

“The road closure will be reinstated for Tar Barrels from 3.45pm on Monday 5 November and reopen by 6.30am on Tuesday 6 November.”

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