It has been announced that Earlcoate Construction and Plant Hire will begin working on a new coastal path in November 2018. The xig-zagpath which was formerly ran from Highcliffe castle to the beach, and was closed in March 2017 following fears of cliff movements posing a danger to the plant and its workers. This new path will include a retaining wall with a drainage to offset any future concerns.
A solution was provided by Aecom to Christchurch Borough Council towards the end of 2017. It would have included a path with an estimated 30-year life span and was proposed with a budget of £1.25M. The Christchurch Borough Council shortly after budgeted a total of £884,500, £365,000 was awarded for the project and they received £280,000 by the Coastal Communities Fund. A further £239,500 was later set aside for the project.
However in August 2017, Aecom created and submitted a report which convinced a further £239,500 not to follow through with the reconstruction of the path. Instead they created a task and finish group whose purpose was to discover alternative solutions to the issue of the path. These solutions are to be more financially viable than Aecom’s original proposal while still attending the issue and funds have been set aside for their execution.
Vicki Hallam, the Christchurch Borough Council Chair of the Highcliffe Zig-Zag Task and Finish Group, has stated that the council is happy to see the beginning of such a complex engineering scheme, and look forward to the reopening of the new path.
The reconstruction is scheduled to see completion by April 2019.