Scrations Lane


A landslip that blocked access to a small residential road needed immediate remedial work and future-proof anchoring to ensure the slope didn’t collapse.

Scrations Lane - ground securing

Collapse and Repair

Responding to subsidence

Inland landslips are a common occurrence, particularly after severe weather occurrences, or subsidence due to building work and other ground interventions.

After any landslip, Cormac’s first job is to carry out any urgent work to ensure the safety of people and properties. Our in-house team of geotechnical experts will then do a thorough assessment by drilling boreholes and to establish the condition of the ground.

It’s then up to our highly experienced design team to come up with effective and lasting solutions. This process involves complex testing and planning, and it can take months before works can commence – presenting challenges in terms of managing the expectations of residents and users of the affected area.

Gallery (4)

Collapse of a Bank in Scrations Lane in Lostwithiel

Making the situation safe for residents

A steep slope of friable rock and earth had collapsed onto a road that provided access to sixteen houses. The residents were keen to have the rubble removed immediately, so that they could regain full access to their properties.

"They were keen to get the spoil removed, as it completely blocked the access road", says Jim Driscoll Highways Structures Manager. "But our ground engineer insisted we investigate the risk of further slippage first. This can sometimes make us unpopular with residents, as creating the design can take quite some time after initial investigations. But we can't just react and apply a quick fix, it has to work for the future too. Our solution was to negotiate with a nearby property owner to provide temporary access through their land for those who needed it, while we carried out the design process". 

Unexpected Challenges

Constraints of space and pandemic

"By the time we were ready to start work however, another challenge arose in the form of Covid lockdown. Our team had to be socially distanced and travel in independent cars. This meant setting up traffic lights and providing parking on a nearby main road. Progress was slowed, as we had to reduce the number of workers on site, and social distancing was in place. 

Our design solution was to drive in a number of rock anchors, with a stainless steel reinforced cage fixed onto them, and sprayed concrete fixed over the top, creating a hard facing. Constraints on space and the social distancing rules meant that every step of the process had to be carefully managed.

A common issue in cases like Scrations Lane is that when private land collapses onto a public right of way or highway, in most situations it is possible to carry out the works with minimal conflict. But in cases where there is a discrepancy, our in-house legal team is well versed in managing the issues between the private owners and our client". 

  • After any landslip, Cormac's first job is to carry out urgent work, to ensure the safety of the public and property. Once safe, our in house geotechnical experts carry out investigations to establish the ground conditions.

    Jim Driscoll

    Highways Structure Manager

  • Then the designers work up a suitable and robust solution. This process can be quite lengthy and includes many essential levels of approval, before works can actually commence on site.

    Jim Driscoll

    Highways Structure Manager

News (10)


Cormac began as a business with a remit to service all the civil engineering needs of Cornwall. As a consequence we have an extensive range of specialist skillsets, and can offer a true end-to-end service to our clients in Cornwall and beyond.

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