Henley Town Council has engaged a contractor to remove Friday Street Slipway concrete this morning
Sorbon Estates levelled the slipway with concrete in summer 2020. This action was illegal as it was undertaken without planning permission or a flood risk activity permit.
Following concerned calls from residents, Henley Town Council contacted Sorbon Estates. Despite repeated assurances from Mr Michael Shanly and Sorbon Estates’ Managing Director, Katherine Croom, that that the concrete would be removed, no action has been taken.
Henley Town Council has instructed Abreu Landscapes to carefully remove the concrete. This work will be carried out in accordance with a valid Environment Agency Flood Risk Activity Permit. This means that the work will be completed legally and to the highest environmental standards.
Whilst the land is unregistered, the area of riverbank, along with the manorial rights, were sold to the Town Council’s predecessor, Henley Borough Council, in 1932 by the previous owner, William Mackenzie of Fawley Court. Henley Town Council has asserted its ownership of the land on several occasions since then.
The work is expected to cost in the region of £6000 although this may depend on whether the work Sorbon carried out has left any lasting damage to the slipway and riverbank.
Town Clerk, Sheridan Jacklin-Edward comments ‘Naturally we are incredibly disappointed that Sorbon did not keep their word. There was no sign of progress and unfortunately, we had no choice but to take matters into our own hands. The Council and the community could not tolerate any further delay.’
He added, ‘Although situations like these are thankfully rare, we would always prefer to work with the trespasser in the first instance so that they can repair any damage they cause. Sorbon have committed themselves to removing the concrete so we will be requesting that they reimburse the Council for the costs involved.’