Dear Editor – 70 High Street

I wanted to write to apologise for any inconvenience that may be caused by the closure of the pavement at 70 High street in Kibworth. 

After purchasing the property, we have invited a number of mud wall specialists to examine and quote to repair the wall. All these specialists declined, stating that the wall was unsafe and could collapse.

We understand the historical significance of the wall to the village, and have therefore engaged four separate structural engineers (at our cost) as well as a conservation expert for advice.  They all agreed that due to deterioration, the wall should come down on the grounds of safety.

As the Harborough Planning Department did not support our application (with all our associated evidence) believing the wall could be retained, we withdrew our application.

We have therefore been engaging with the SPAB (Society for Protection of Ancient Buildings) to look for a solution to retain the wall.  Unfortunately, as there is limited literature on the capacity of cob to resist leaning forces, this process is complicated and multiple additional experts need to be engaged.

In the meantime, we sought advice from building control and highways given the potential safety risk to members of the public. Both departments felt the wall does pose a potential, significant risk which has led to the closing of the footpath until a solution can be agreed with planning and we can take the appropriate action.

We are sorry for any inconvenience but as the wall is listed we must be guided by both the Council and experts.

Hannah (Owner of no 70 High Street)

The SPAB is a small building conservation charity set up by William Morris in 1877. “We are extremely pleased to be working closely with the owner of 70 High Street, to help repair, save and protect their historic leaning mud wall”.

Kibworth High Street showing the mud wall when it was the front of the cottage that stood there.