Undercliff could be rebuilt at £20m cost

By Martin Neville

Thursday, May 29, 2014

 

Undercliff could be rebuilt at £20m cost

A stretch of Undercliff Drive, which could cost £20m to rebuild according to a report to the Isle of Wight Council. Picture by Peter Boam.

A MULTI-million pound rebuilding scheme is among the potential solutions in detailed reports on crumbling Undercliff Drive, published today (Thursday).

Three reports, drawn up by PFI contractor Island Roads for the Isle of Wight Council, outline possible solutions for the road between Ventnor and Niton, where homes had to be abandoned after major landslips.

They range from permanently closing the road to rebuilding it on a pile-supported road deck at an estimated cost of up to £20 million.

Other possibilities include making it pedestrian access only, re-opening a single lane or establishing a new inland access route to the affected homes.

The council will now consider the reports before recommendations about the future of the site are put before its executive.

Cllr Steve Stubbings, deputy leader and member for Ventnor West, said: "It remains a very anxious time for residents directly affected by the ground movement along the Undercliff and we would like to assure all those affected that we are doing all we can to reach a point where we can make a decision on the road’s future as quickly as possible."

Although the reports outline potential solutions to the failure, they indicate that it will not be possible to carry out a detailed assessment until it can be confirmed ground movement in the area has ceased.

Cllr Phil Jordan, executive member for public protection, said: "It is likely the reports will generate questions for residents but it is important we take the time to consider all of the technical information in detail before commenting on any of the proposals.

"The reports raise some complex and detailed issues and we are correctly seeking clarification on those issues without further delay."

The council’s building control officers are inspecting properties weekly to check for new movement and Island Roads continues to undertake detailed monitoring of ground movement and ground water levels.

Current data shows that the ground is continuing to move although it has slowed significantly from the rates experienced earlier in the year.

Despite continuing ground movement, the report said some residents were still using their homes and others were keen to return.

As a result the council is considering establishing a safe, but temporary road access.

Click here to view the report.

Reporter: martinn@iwcpmail.co.uk

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