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Isle of Wight council warned further delays to landslide damaged seawall repair will cost

Isle of Wight council has deferred the decision on releasing funds to repair the Totland Seawall which was damaged by a landslide in 2012, despite warnings that delays could result in the need for additional work.

In the June council meeting members voted to delay making a decision until this month’s meeting on whether to spend up to £200,000 on a temporary option until a winter flood report was presented.

The council’s postponement from June intended to put the possible expenditure in context across works needed in the Isle of Wight following recent floods and landslides, such as Niton Undercliff and Cowes Enterprise College.

Councillor Phil Jordan said: “We shouldn’t allow much further coastal erosion. If we allow this, we will lose much of the benefits we’ve got from land and soil infill already there. That would be washed away from high tides and storms over the winter.”

He added that abstaining from making a decision and releasing funds would have cost implications in addressing policy for the shoreline management plan agreed in 2010.

The council decision was to be based on a geotechnical report from Mott Macdonald delivered earlier this year that concluded that a failure occurred 7m below the concrete promenade in Totland Bay, causing a major landslide which damaged the seawall over a length of 120m and pushed it seaward by up to 20m.

The report suggested three options for repair: a rock revetment to stabilise the seawall destroyed by the landslide; a rock revetment protecting the entire frontage between Totland Pier and Colwell; or a rock revetment at the site of the landslide with a raised splashwall providing improved protection to the base of the coastal slope from waves overtopping the existing seawall.

Bill Murphy, head of planning, was unable to provide an assurance that the £200,000 was the upper limit of expenditure and the members voted to delay until the August meeting.

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