Somerset road to stay closed more than two years after huge landslide

Trees and debris on the road
Trees and debris on the road after the landslide in February 2021. Credit: BPM Media

A through route for two Somerset villages that was closed because of a landslide will not be reopened because of the £2.7 million cost to repair it, the council has confirmed.

Somerset Council said the route between East Chinnock and Odcombe has been closed for more than two years after a landslide put more than 20 tonnes of rock, sand and a large tree on the road.

The council said that due to the seriousness of the incident investigations began into the causes of it.

An independent report then determined that it would cost millions to repair the road and make it safe. This would have included clearing the debris and installing steel meshing to hold the steep sides of the hollow in place.

The council has said that the route has to remain closed. Credit: BPM Media

Councillor Mike Rigby, Somerset Council’s Lead Member for Transport and Digital said: “We understand people’s concerns about an indefinite closure of Chinnock Hollow, but the reality is that there just isn’t the available budget to consider this scheme.

“It’s simply not possible to open the road and hope for the best when there is a substantial risk of a further significant landslide. The Council is liable for any resulting injury or fatality and must take every possible precaution to ensure the safety of the public.

“The road must therefore remain closed until such time as funding can be identified to safely reopen it. We will continue to explore any potential avenues for funding.”

“We are liaising with the communities in the immediate area to listen to concerns people may have and we will be arranging a further engagement event to give people the chance to speak to our specialist team.”