Dorset

Highcliffe cliff path rebuild to go ahead

Zigzag path at Highcliffe Castle Image copyright Christchurch Borough Council
Image caption The cliff path was shut after it was found to be in imminent danger of collapse by engineers

A cliff path to a beach in Dorset which shut nearly a year ago amid fears it could collapse is to be rebuilt.

Plans to repair the zigzag path at Highcliffe Castle, near Christchurch, were scrapped after it was estimated it could cost up to £1.25m.

It was used by the disabled, elderly and families - the alternative route is via 117 steep steps.

Christchurch Borough Council said it now had a budget of £884,500 after setting aside a further £239,500.

The authority said it had sought new estimates which put the cost of the work within the budget.

More than 3,000 people signed a petition protesting against the authority's decision not to rebuild it.

Image copyright Christchurch Borough Council
Image caption Works are expected to start on the path in the autumn

It had previously earmarked £365,000 for the project and had been awarded nearly £280,000 by the Coastal Communities Fund.

Councillor Vicki Hallam said: "Members would like to thanks residents, officers and AECOM for working together to help us retain this popular path."

It is hoped the path will reopen before Easter 2019.

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