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Work to start on Undercliff Drive — two years after landslide

Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 13:02

LONG-AWAITED work to restore access to properties cut off by the Undercliff landslide two years ago will start next week.
Part of Undercliff Drive has been closed since homes were evacuated on Valentine's Day 2014, after large cracks appeared in roads and properties following weeks of downpours.
Island Roads said the initial work would include creating a turning head for vehicles at the Niton end of the Undercliff.
However, work on the new access road and pedestrian route will not start until ground water levels – where the main slippage occurred - had dropped.
Cllr Phil Jordan, Isle of Wight Council executive member for the PFI, said: "We appreciate this has been a lengthy process to get to this point and we sympathise greatly with those residents affected and appreciate their ongoing patience.
"This has, however, not been a straightforward situation when multiple land ownership, contaminated materials, protected wildlife habitation, adverse weather and ongoing geological movement have all contributed to a lengthy but necessary process for scheduling works on site."
Island Roads said the conditions would be monitored and construction of the access road and pedestrian route would begin when it was appropriate.
Specialists will be commissioned to remove asbestos at the site, although the material, which posed no risk to the public, will remain there during the winter.
Permission has been granted by Natural England to remove some trees, although it still had to be agreed with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, which owns the land.
Island Roads said bat experts had concluded only one tree had potential for bat habitation and it would be monitored throughout the work.
Hoardings at either end of the Undercliff will be replaced to keep the site secure.

 


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