A FOOTPATH closed for nearly two years in Wantage because of a dangerous wobbly wall is set to reopen by February after a cash settlement.

Council officers have given up trying to persuade the wall’s owner to repair it and have decided to knock it down and landscape the area in Wallingford Street instead.

Vale of White Horse District Council has managed to persuade Hampshire pensioner Michael Macario, whose firm built the wall with the housing estate next door in the 1970s, to give it £15,000 to take it off his hands permanently.

The Vale will now spend a total of £70,000 knocking it down, removing the earth bank and trees behind and replacing them with a grass verge.

Town mayor St John Dickson said he was delighted that people would finally be able to use the footpath once more.

Mr Dickson said: “I just got sick to death of it not working, and so many people were upset about it. It got to the stage where the landowner wasn’t going to pay for the repairs so I spoke to the officers and said ‘you need to get this moving’.”

Liberal Democrat councillor Jenny Hannaby, who sparked the saga by requesting minor repairs to the wall, said the landscaping at one of the main entrances to the town would give the area a more rural appearance.

She added: “I am pleased that something has now been agreed.”

Mr Macario said he did not understand why the Vale had not taken charge of the wall when it took possession of the earth bank behind in 2004.

Work is due to start this month. The 40ft stretch of pavement has been closed since January 2014.