Christchurch Borough Council members are being asked to decide if they wish to proceed with the reconstruction of the Highcliffe Castle zig-zag path following new costings.
Christchurch Borough Council members are being asked to decide if they wish to proceed with the planned reconstruction of Highcliffe zig-zag path.
Members allocated £365k towards the construction of the zig-zag path as part of the 2017/18 Capital Programme, as well as the council receiving £280k towards the project from the Dorset Coastal Communities Fund bid.
Consulting engineers AECOM have carried out ground investigations and considered nine structure options for the reconstruction of the zig-zag path. These include sheet pile walls, mass concrete walls, reinforced earth slopes and king post piled walls. Their recommendation is that the most viable option is for the revetments to be constructed using king post piled walls.
However, the estimated cost for implementing this solution would be approximately £900k. When additional sums are included such as cladding, contingency allowances and any additional enhancements the cost for the rebuild could be up to £1.25m.
Lindsay Cass, head of Property and Engineering, Christchurch and East Dorset Councils, said, “Given that the estimated cost of rebuilding the Highcliffe Castle zig-zag path is significantly more than the council has budgeted for, we are asking members to consider if they wish us to proceed with this project.
“To rebuild the path would require an additional £670k on top of the money the council has already set aside and we must consider whether this project is the best use of resources, particularly when alternative routes to the beach exist nearby.”
A report is being taken to Community Committee on 9 August asking members if they wish to proceed with the reconstruction of the path. If the committee recommends to proceed with the rebuild, then officers will be requested to identify possible funding options that could be used to pay for the work, which would then need approval by Full Council.
The recommendation of the council’s Chief Finance Officer is that the project is not progressed as the level of investment required and the financial risk to replace the zig-zag path is of such scale that it cannot be justified given the limited resources the council has and the need for a balanced level of investment across the borough.
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