Council release plans for Undercliff Drive

The Isle of Wight Council has today (Tuesday 19 May) confirmed details of work to create vehicular access to properties affected by last year’s landslip along Undercliff Drive, near St Lawrence.

Undercliff drive

This in from the council, in their own words. Ed

The council has been working with Island Roads to develop a scheme since Executive members agreed in November 2014 to create a low cost, limited access road from the west and pedestrian access from the east.

The plans have been developed as quickly as possible, however due to the complex geological nature of the site, the environmental designation of adjoining woodlands and negotiations involving third party land, the scheme has not been straightforward to develop.

Surveys imminent
Survey work is due to commence in the coming weeks, with construction work carried out during the summer months.

Vehicular access for affected properties will be via the existing carriageway with some limited widening of the road from the west, with a turning head constructed close to the current position of the road closure hoarding to enable larger vehicles to turn safely.

The proposed route to the properties will be single width, built close to the existing route. It is likely that some land will be required from a third party in order to construct the road which will connect to the undamaged section of road on which four dedicated residents parking spaces will be provided.

Due to the eastern landslip, it will not be possible for vehicles to drive beyond the property ‘Cheviot House’, though pedestrians, cyclists and horses will be able to continue through to Undercliff Drive and on towards Ventnor on a newly created path.

At the eastern end of the access road, another turning head will be constructed, again to allow vehicles to turn safely, and a further four dedicated residents parking spaces will be provided.

Long-awaited works
Councillor Phil Jordan, Executive member for public protection and highways PFI, said:

“This solution and the impending works are very long awaited but I am delighted we are finally in a position to start the process of allowing at least some permanent access to the properties situated there.

“The commitment of this council has always been to find a solution to a very difficult situation and I think today is testament to a lot of hard work by a lot of people. I really do look forward to this scheme being finally completed and access being re-established.

“We will continue to investigate longer term opportunities to address the closure of the through road and we will endeavour to seek funding opportunities that could enable a broader scheme to re-open the entire road to traffic.”

Letters have been sent to affected residents, local town and parish councils and local Isle of Wight councillors to make them aware of the latest plans.

Too small?
If you can’t see it (understandable, as it’s a pretty large file crammed into that A4 doc, here’s the download of the PDF (right click to Save).

Tuesday, 19th May, 2015 1:23pm



Filed under: Niton, St Catherine's, St Lawrence, Top story, Ventnor

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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15 Comments on "Council release plans for Undercliff Drive"

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Niton Wight Satin

I’ve just had a quick look at this. There’s so many problems with this I don’t know where to start!

Haven’t these poor people suffered enough? At least give them the respect of thinking through what you’re proposing IWC. You’ve had enough bleeding time!

Philip Hawkins
The plans have nothing to say about how the road to the west is going to differ from the residents’ temporary road (it follows exactly the same line), except that it is going to have ‘edge restraints’. Into an active slip? They have nothing to say about how the pedestrian footway to the east is going to be stabilised – to those with short memories, this is… Read more »
Niton Wight Satin

Beyond the long list of obvious problems with this paperwork …

This work is outside the PFI, right?

Why would the council be giving this work to Island Roads?

This whole (in my mind, avoidable) collapse happened under Island Roads before. Why trust them again?

Ann Thwaites

As a an ex resident of the Undercliff and one who still owns one of the houses, the plans leave a lot to be desired. If the council are going out to tender this, what happened to the PFI contract, are not they responsible for correcting their mistakes?

Philip Hawkins

If they are, and you’ve got to get them to admit it, then they should be paying for it.

If they are not, then they should be kept well away from the whole sorry fiasco.

“Road designed to standard H4a”….. this equates to a risk mitigation response to a very high risk level. Just how safe and temporary is this low cost plan? How does this differ from the last scheme that failed so drastically in February 2014. Given the lack of any apparent stabilisation / drainage works on what is an active mudslide at the West end of the failure, has… Read more »

how much money do these very very few people want spending on them….this a solution.

There are many many more worthwhile projects elsewhere on the island that won’t inevitably end up in the sea whatever money is spent.

The real mistakes here was building on land that wasn’t suitable and expecting everybody else to bail them out

Well Kevin. Are you the same bloke who has been banging away on this same theme for the past year ? Have you heard the saying about walking in someone’s else’s shoes ? You have an incredibly generous spirit. Are you jealous of other people living in a nicer place than you ? These unfortunate people….many of whom have lived in their houses for years and years… Read more »
billy builder
Bones, whilst I feel very sorry for the people affected by this landslip, and acknowledge that the Island Roads helped to trigger this particular landslip, the fact of the matter is that these properties are built on an unstable landmass that will continue to slip unless very radical and costly land stabilisation is performed. There are essentially two choices, either a multi-million pound land-stabilisation scheme is undertaken… Read more »
Philip Hawkins

But what you say applies to most of the properties in Ventnor. What you are warned when you move here is “don’t muck it about – don’t start digging away at slopes”. Without such “mucking about” these families would still be in their houses, and the road would still be open.

billy builder
Philip, there are some causes that are worth fighting for, and some that are beyond any real hope. Island Roads were not responsible for the geological conditions leading to this slip, whilst they were certainly responsible for exacerbating it by undertaking disruptive works at a time of year when the land was at its most unstable. However, without land stabilisation this slip would have happened sooner rather… Read more »
Mark Francis
I think there is a kind of social contract going on here. You pay into society through taxes, N.I. & various social contributions and that entitles you to get helped out when things go wrong. Social solidarity – insurance if you like. (unless you are not a Christian & you expect to send your child to school. Besides which – when were these homes built? Some good… Read more »
Kevin I take your point that in the big scheme of things, from those who remain personally unaffected by this, I can sympathise that one would be aggrieved at any money spent from Council coffers on a very small group of people. However I really must take exception to your view for these few simple reasons: Would you like to have bought a property never realising that… Read more »

Well put Joseyorange!

I don’t live too near the slip, but have been following the story and sympathise utterly with you.

I hope that the situation can be resolved this year and allow you peace of mind at last.


I was brought up there and its my retired parent who live there and we are just ordinary folk. They are devastated and I am worried….