'Make do and mend' plan for Totland sea wall

By Emily Pearce

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

 

'Make do and mend' plan for Totland sea wall

Totland sea wall following the 2012 landslip. Picture courtesy of the Maritime Coastguard Agency/Isle of Wight Council.

A MULTI-MILLION pound proposal to rebuild the collapsed Totland sea wall looks set to be shelved in favour of a cheaper solution.

The Isle of Wight Council executive agreed last night (Tuesday) officers should further investigate a 'make do and mend' option, to partially repair the wall and lay an unsurfaced footpath, reinstating the coastal walkway.

It would cost an estimated £175,000 to £200,000, compared with the £2.1 million cost of reconstructing the sea wall and promenade — the more comprehensive option recommended by geotechnical consultants following an investigation of the landslip site.

The council could apply for a £725,000 government grant, but it would require further investigative works costing an estimated £126,000 and there was no guarantee of success, said health and safety executive member Cllr Phil Jordan.

Another option, to permanently close the area to the public, was rejected by members.

Following the landslide and collapse of the sea wall in December, 2012, there was an impassioned public plea for it to be repaired. A petition was signed by 4,202 people.

Executive members agreed to defer their final decision until next month, when they are due to receive a wider report on flooding and coastal damage across the Island following winter storms and heavy rainfall over the past two years.

Council leader Cllr Ian Stephens said the council was determined to find a solution and would look to the EU for funding.

Campaigner Helen Wood welcomed his commitment and reiterated how vital it was to reinstate the wall.

"The 'make do and mend' option ticks many of the boxes at a fraction of the cost," she said.

Reporter: emilyp@iwcpmail.co.uk

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