Friday 22 July 2022
Work is set to get underway at the Petit Port steps on Sunday 24 July, beginning the process of reinstating safe access to this popular beach. The project involves two phases of works and it is hoped that public access via the steps will be restored later this year.
After a large landslip filled and damaged a rock catcher fence at the top of the Petit Port steps, access had to be closed due to the high risk posed to the public from falling rocks.
Because the area is designated a Site of Special Significance, Agriculture, Countryside & Land Management Services (ACLMS) worked with the Planning Service and have also carried out a breeding bird survey to ensure the work can be carried out sensitively. The works have now been scheduled in line with the availability of a local contractor and an engineering geologist.
The first of the two phases of work will be carried out between Sunday 24 July and early August. They involve:
- Inspection of the cliff faces and scaling works to remove loose stones;
- Routine inspection of infrastructure on the cliff face to ensure it is still sound and see how they can be further improved;
- Site investigations of the land slip site to determine the suitability of anchor points, which are required to empty the rock-catch fencing in the next phase, and to develop a method of emptying the debris from behind the catcher fence;
- Assessment of any other infrastructural work required to make the area safe to access.
The steps are currently closed for public access because of the risk they pose to members of the public who use them. While work is underway, it is particularly dangerous around the steps as the rope access team may be required to drop rocks as they work. ACLMS would also urge boaters to take notice of signage in the area and not enter the steps from the beach.
Boaters visiting the beach should also steer clear of the bottom of the cliff face, as on other cliff beaches. There have been recent further rockfalls onto the bay and any open cliff face presents a risk to those below.
Following this first phase of works, a second phase will then need to be planned which will involve clearing the debris from behind the rock-catch fence. This will need to be carried out before the steps are safe and may be reopened. The scope of this next set of works will be determined through phase one and updates will be provided in due course.