Council calls public meeting to discuss next steps for Chinnock Hollow

A landslide-hit road near Yeovil is the focus for a public meeting next month where Somerset County Council’s Highways team will outline the next steps.

Chinnock Hollow has been closed since 21 February 2021 following a significant landslide involving 20 tonnes of rock and sand as well as a large tree. The debris rolled down the side of the 12-metre wall of the hollow, burying part of the road below. This followed a less serious incident just a week before.

The meeting on 12 October in East Chinnock at Cott Farm Barn is an information sharing exercise. It will give the Highways Team a chance to bring local people up to speed following the latest report and what the next steps are, and allow local people the chance to ask questions and share their views.

Immediately after the landslip an investigation was launched into the likely causes, actions needed to secure the road and potential hazards. This included an in-depth engineering report which in turn revealed the substantial risk of another landslide – potentially even larger in the same area, as well as the risk of other failures at different points along the road.

This discovery triggered the need for a further detailed report to understand the risks posed by the entire road and the work necessary to reopen Chinnock Hollow safely.

The latest report is available to download here: www.somerset.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/transport-policy/

The report outlines four options ranging from taking no action and keeping the road closed to fully strengthening all the key areas at risk.

All the options to reopen the road come with significant costs attached and funding for any proposal will need to be approved by the Council.

Councillor Mike Rigby, Somerset County Council’s lead member for Transport and Digital said: “We have a duty to keep the public safe and it’s clear we need to remove the substantial risk of further landslides before we can consider reopening the road.

“We cannot simply clear the debris and carry on as before – that’s not an option here, and that’s why we have carried out a painstaking process involving extensive investigations and two detailed reports.

“We are now exploring a possible way forward but we also have to be realistic about funding given the current financial climate, the soaring cost of materials, and the pressures on all our budgets.

“We look forward to meeting with the public, talking through the options and challenges, and listening to their thoughts and concerns.”

*The meeting takes place at 7pm on 12 October at Cott Farm Barn East Chinnock, Yeovil BA22 9ES.

Submitted by Communications