A SECTION of Chester's historic City Walls collapsed on Thursday night (January 16).

Cheshire West and Chester Council said the reason for the collapse followed excavations being carried out by a private developer, working alongside the historic structure, compromised the integrity of the ancient monument.

A spokesperson for the council said: "Investigations are continuing to establish the exact reasons for the collapse, but early indications appear to show that earth had been removed from the bottom of the city walls behind 15 to 19 Newgate Street (near to the wall walkway leading out of the Grosvenor Shopping Centre).

"The removal of too much earth exposed a section of bare foundations.

"The developer has now stopped the works within their site, to enable further assessments to be undertaken."

Cllr Karen Shore, deputy leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, said: “The council is taking this situation very seriously and we will ensure that a thorough investigation is carried out.

"I am thankful that no-one has been hurt as a result of this collapse and our priority will continue to be public safety.”

Chester MP Chris Matheson has pledged to support action to repair the section of Chester City Wall that has collapsed as a result of construction work by developers.

Chris said: “Chester’s Walls are the jewel in our city’s crown. I am appalled that the company carrying out development on this site has not exercised the care and diligence that we expect to see in such close proximity to this iconic ancient monument.

“Whilst further details about this incident are still forthcoming, I will be offering my support to all of the heritage partners in Chester, to ensure that action is taken to rectify this situation and restore this section of Chester Wall to its former glory.”