SOMERSET Council have confirmed that Chinnock Hollow road will not be reopening following last year's landslide.

The road, which is located near Yeovil, has been closed since February 2021 after a landslide involving 20 tonnes of rock and sand, as well as a large tree, caused significant damage. Part of the road was entirely buried.

An independent report estimates that it could cost up to £2.7 million to make the road, which links the villages of East Chinnock and Odcombe, safe again.

Incident investigations began to determine the actions needed to secure the road, as well as the hazards to motorists in the future. It was found that there is a substantial risk of another landslide.

In October 2022, it was agreed during a meeting that a final independent report was required to establish the cost for a hybrid option involving clearance and some containment work alongside regular safety monitoring. 

This would involve installing steel meshing to hold the steep sides of the hollow in place, which could cost millions to deliver.

Chard & Ilminster News: Chinnock Hollow.Chinnock Hollow. (Image: Somerset Council)

This money is not available within current budgets and the council are unable to find external funding.

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.  

“We cannot justify spending nearly £3 million when there are so many pressing and competing maintenance priorities across more than 4,100 miles of road in Somerset, and there is no available funding from Government. 

“It’s simply not possible to open the road and hope for the best when there is a substantial risk of a further significant land-slide. 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.”