Dorset

Highcliffe cliff path rebuild axed over costs

Highcliffe zig-zag path Image copyright Kenneth Goodwin
Image caption The "zig-zag" path links Highcliffe Castle with the beach below

Plans to rebuild a cliff path in Dorset have been scrapped after it was estimated it could cost up to £1.25m.

The "zig-zag" at Highcliffe Castle, near Christchurch, was closed by Christchurch Borough Council in March amid safety fears.

A survey of the path by engineers revealed its retaining timber supports could collapse at any time.

The authority said it was looking to make the path safe and exploring other options to give access to the beach.

'Difficult decision'

Councillor Sally Derham-Wilkes said the "difficult decision not to proceed" was taken because "it would have been an awful lot of money for us to commit when there are a great number of things we have to fund across the borough".

The council had earmarked £365,000 for the project and had been awarded £280,000 by the Coastal Communities Fund.

The authority said out of nine structure options considered the estimated cost for implementing the cheapest viable solution "could have been up to £1.25m" leaving a funding gap of £670,000.

t was hoped the path could reopen by Easter 2018.

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