Southwold: Traditional walkway design approved

A CRUMBLING pathway leading to the shore of a seaside Suffolk town is set to be replaced with a �200,000 traditional style walkway.

For the last three summers, Ladies Walk on Kilcock Cliff has been out-of-bounds after it was closed by Waveney District Council amid public safety concerns.

A district council leaders chose to sanction a traditional concrete footpath and a retaining wall over an alternative steel walkway design, elevated above the cliff on posts, which drew criticism during public consultation over the plans in February.

People said the elevated walkway would look “hideous”, that people could fall off it, and that it looked like a “temporary gangway at an airport”.

A summary of the public consultation showed there were 91 responses with “more in favour” of option one - the traditional concrete footpath - than the second design.

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The path above North Parade was deemed unsafe by structural engineers after part of the cliff collapsed and crumbled because of heavy rainfall, burrowing rabbits and the effect of soil creep.

The initial collapse of Ladies Walk happened in the summer of 2010 when the ground sunk to an angle of 30 degrees and the support for the handrail came away. As a result it was closed on health and safety grounds as it was too dangerous for people to use.

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Yesterday Mike Barnard, Waveney District Council cabinet member for resources, chose the traditional concrete footpath, saying: “I believe the traditional replacement is the one which will fit in more.”

It is hoped the replacement path work should be completed by Easter or the early summer.

The �200,000 for the work will come from a council cross subsidy scheme using income generated from the letting of new beach hut sites.

Mr Barnard revealed the preferred option and the money will now be committed so a specialist engineer can be enlisted to oversee the design and a suitable contractor hired to deliver the project.

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