A PLAN is being agreed to restore the missing cobbles of Church Lane, one of Ledbury's most historic streets.

Town Councillor, Tony Bradford met with representatives of Herefordshire Council contractor, Balfour Beatty last Friday, May 23, and during a site visit he discussed a kind offer from a local businessman to restore the missing cobbles for free.

The offer required an in-principle nod from Balfour Beatty.

Coun Bradford said: "They gave the go ahead. Balfour Beatty want to work with us, not against us."

The start date has to be agreed with the businessman, who does not wish to be named and has yet to carry out a site inspection himself.

But the idea is that he will carry out the repair work, as a gesture to the community, while Balfour Beatty will carry out regular inspections "and be part of the process, until it is completed".

Coun Bradford added: "It is very good news, and somewhat refreshing for all of us.

"The town council has been banging on for ten years to get this problem sorted out."

During the site visit, Coun Bradford also showed Balfour Beatty Tilley's Alley, which was once heavily cobbled and, like Church Lane, is in need of restoration.

Coun Bradford said a Balfour Beatty representative was "knocked off his feet by the scale of it", but he could see the need for restoration work.

However, Coun Bradford added: "Our priority is Church Lane."

Coun Bradford jokily re-named the historic Church Lane, "Beatles Lane" because of its "Daytripper" missing cobbles.

If all goes to plan, the work will solve a problem that was first identified by the Ledbury Civic Society in 2007.

The Society was calling for restoration, and for cobbles to be re-laid, because contractors had used modern light-coloured cement for some repairs.

Church Lane is very much the public face of Ledbury, because it lies in the heart of the conservation and tourist area and often appears as a scene on heritage calendars.