Fears Guernsey's Petit Port bay will not reopen

Steps down to Guernsey's Petit Port Bay
Image caption Deputy Yvonne Burford said keeping the steps open was likely to always require money

Fears steps to a Guernsey bay could remain closed permanently due to the cost of repairs have been raised by a parish official.

St Martin's Constable Gerry Tattersall believes the costs are too high for the Environment Department to consider the work at Petit Port Bay.

Environment Minister Yvonne Burford said a decision on the future of the area had yet to be made.

She said the costs over the past 10 years averaged out at £77,000 a year.

The bay was closed between 2001 and 2005 after a series of landslides made the area too dangerous to access and was only reopened after new concrete steps, handrails and fencing to contain rockfalls were installed.

The steps were again shut in May after damage caused by heavy rainfall in the storms in the early part of this year.

Image caption The bay can still be accessed by unofficial routes, but those using them do so at their own risk

Deputy Burford commented on the BBC Radio Guernsey Facebook page: "This is an appropriate time to take stock.

"A 10-year contact for scaling of the cliffs (to reduce rockfalls) is coming to an end next year and we need to have a discussion as to the best way forward."

She said the department was due to meet with parish officials in January to look at the future of "one of our loveliest beaches".

Deputy Burford said: "What is pretty certain is that to keep the steps open will always require money. At what point does the spend become unjustifiable?"

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