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Hole in West Drove North, between Walpole St Peter and Walton Highway, filled with decorative Christmas tree





It is an extremely unlikely place to find some festive cheer, but residents have spruced up a hole in a West Norfolk road by filling it with a Christmas tree.

Earlier this week, villagers spotted the traditional festive shrub – decorated with lights, tinsel, baubles and even an elf – in the gap on West Drove North, between Walpole St Peter and Walton Highway.

The newly-decorated spot delighted residents, who took to social media to describe it as a “brilliant idea”.

A Christmas tree has been placed into what was believed to be a pothole on West Drove North between Walpole St Peter and Walton Highway. Picture: Jason Mcgowan
A Christmas tree has been placed into what was believed to be a pothole on West Drove North between Walpole St Peter and Walton Highway. Picture: Jason Mcgowan

One commented: “Drove past this yesterday afternoon and had a giggle. Kids thought it was great too.”

“Hilarious and very festive. Well done to the person who did it, what a wonderful sense of humour you have,” another said.

One person told the Lynn News that the “large sinkhole” had appeared around six months ago.

A Christmas tree has been placed into what was believed to be a pothole on West Drove North between Walpole St Peter and Walton Highway. Picture: April Finch
A Christmas tree has been placed into what was believed to be a pothole on West Drove North between Walpole St Peter and Walton Highway. Picture: April Finch

“A Christmas elf has kindly put a Christmas tree in it, lights and all,” they added.

Meanwhile, Jillian Sizeland said seeing the Christmas tree “made her day”.

"Congratulations to whoever put the Christmas tree with lights in the sinkhole on West Drove North, at the rate the councils are going it’ll probably take root,” she added.

Jason Mcgowan, who admitted to being the “Christmas elf” behind the road’s newest decoration, with help from two others, said: “It was only done as a bit of humour and to try and get a sinkhole repaired. It’s created a lot of joy for locals.

“I can’t take all the credit as I did have two other accomplices.”

While the tree and its decorations have brought some festive cheer to the area, some commented on the length of time that has passed without the hole being fixed.

On Facebook, one resident said: “Just can't believe it hasn't been sorted out by now. Work on that hole was started on the 17th July of this year.

“The hole is getting bigger and must be putting further pressure on the opposite side of the road.”

“Six-month sink hole and getting bigger – totally disgusting,” said another.

And Cllr Julian Kirk, who represents Walsoken, West Walton and Walpole ward on West Norfolk Council, as well as the Marshland North Division on Norfolk County Council, said he has been speaking to the authorities in a bid to see the road fixed.

He said: “The pothole is an embarrassment. I have been in continuous contact with Highways, I believe the Internal Drainage Board (IDB) is also involved in the project.”

Norfolk County Council’s Highways team told the Lynn News that the pothole was actually a collapsed culvert – which is the responsibility of the IDB.

The IDB said that a full survey and repair or replacement of the culvert will need to take place – which is planned for early 2024.

“King’s Lynn IDB are aware of this problem, and it is indeed a result of a partially collapsed culvert causing erosion to the substrate beneath the road,” they said, in a statement sent to the Lynn News.

“We attended site yesterday, 29th November, with our contractors to begin the repair strategy and did indeed notice the appearance of a decorated Christmas tree.

“We would like to emphasise the importance of health and safety and ask members of the public to not scale the safety fencing.

“The lane closure currently in place will be formalised with Norfolk County Council Highways but will unfortunately remain until a full survey and repair/replacement can be carried out, which we will plan for early in the new year.

“Survey and permanent repair are currently impossible due to the very high water levels after the recent heavy rainfall events, meanwhile our contractor will be carrying out temporary works to halt further erosion damaging the road.”



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