Chinnock hollow to remain closed
Somerset Council has taken the decision not to reopen the road at Chinnock Hollow. The road, just off the A30 in the village of East Chinnock has been closed for over two years. That followed a land slip on 21 February 2021. The landslip saw 20 tonnes of rock and sand and a large tree roll down the side of the 12-metre wall of the hollow. The material completely buried part of the road below. It followed a less serious but similar incident just a week before.
Subsequent to that Somerset County Council as it was then, began investigations began into the likely causes. Plus any action needed to secure the road and potential hazards moving forward. An engineering report revealed the substantial risk of another landslide, potentially even larger in the same area.
At a public meeting last October, it was agreed to review the risk and potential options to make the road safe. It was agreed a final independent report was required to establish a more precise cost for any work to make the road safe.
Somerset Council now has that report. The cost comes out at £2.7m. That would cover clearing the debris and installing steel meshing to hold the steep sides of the hollow in place. The council says it is not possible to identify external funding for such a scheme at this point and the money is not available within current budgets.
Councillor Mike Rigby is Somerset Council’s Lead Member for Transport and Digital. He told us: “We understand people’s concerns about an indefinite closure of Chinnock Hollow. 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. That’s across more than 4,100 miles of road in Somerset. There is no available funding from Government.”