WORK to protect an historic monument in South Derbyshire looks set to be delayed.
Repton Parish Council revealed it had been told by Derbyshire County Council that any changes to Repton Cross had been deemed ‘environmental’ and would no longer be suitable for funding from the highways department.
This means that work to restore and protect the near 1,500-year-old monument will not take place in the near future.
A spokesman for the parish council said: “During the past few years, the parish council has strived to develop a plan for the restoration and future protection of Repton Cross.
“Consultation with Derbyshire County Council has been ongoing and the parish council believed a positive outcome was assured.
“However, any modifications to the vicinity of the cross have now been deemed to be ‘environmental’ and will not therefore attract funding from the highways department.
“This is despite the fact that frequent damage caused by passing traffic to the stones has to be continually repaired, at the expense of the council. We are utterly dismayed by this outcome of events.”
Work to renovate Repton Cross, a landmark of the village for almost 15 centuries, has been in the pipeline for years.
The monument, which stands in the centre of Repton, is in dire need of repair, with parts having been chipped away by HGVs trying to negotiate their way around it.
The cross has an almost magical status in the village – it is said to be one of the first places Christianity was preached in the Midlands during the seventh century.
Martyn Ford, who represents Repton on Derbyshire County Council, insisted he was doing everything he could to get the work started. He said: “We’re pressing for it at every opportunity. Me and the parish council are working towards the same end.”