A sinkhole which has plagued businesses and residents in Flackwell Heath for over a year is finally due to be repaired next month.

An area of collapsed pavement appeared in Straight Bit in August last year and steadily grew in size – causing business on the parade to decline, according to concerned shopkeepers.

The lack of action prompted villagers to stage a protest – creating a sign saying ‘The Land the Council Forgot’ by the shops along with inflatable dinosaurs, in a nod to the novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Land That Time Forgot.

At a meeting of Bucks County Council’s (BCC) cabinet on Monday, cabinet member for transport, Mark Shaw, announced the landowners confirmed the sinkhole will be repaired imminently.

He said: “Just as I came into the room I checked my emails and it is good news for the sinkhole that we have had in Flackwell Heath by the shopping parade.

“We have just had confirmation from the owners, because it wasn’t on highways land, it is going to be fixed. They have got the agreement through from Zurich insurance.

“That is excellent news for local people and local shop owners in Flackwell Heath.”

However the brains behind the protest, Bruce Jacob, remains sceptical over whether the work will be carried out, and said he already has another “stunt” up his sleeve if the sinkhole remains untouched.

He said: “If that is going happen then that is fantastic. It is a shame it has had to be forced to a head to get things moving, so we will wait and see if it is going to happen.

“There have been so many promises in the past, so we will see what happens and if it doesn’t I will have to move on to the next stunt I have lined up.

“I won’t give too much away, but let’s say there will be some more monkeying around.

“[The sinkhole] has not affected by business takings but it has seriously affected those in the shops behind me.

“But it’s not just shops, it’s people who live in the flats above that are affected and the elderly. There are bike racks and benches that can’t be used, residents have lost those facilities.”

Lamberts Chartered Surveyors LTD, the management company for Aries House, which owns the row of shops, confirmed the work is expected to start in October.

Director, William Heneker, said: “Subject to the satisfactory conclusion of commercial/contractual matters, we should be in a position to mobilise to site to commence the works in early October.

“Based on the quantities of work to be undertaken, we anticipate a duration of approximately one-and-a-half weeks to complete.”

Mr Heneker previously blamed repair delays on the complexity and cost of the case – as insurers had to pass it on to senior claim handlers for authorisation.