Beach access campaigners not giving up fight

Dorset Echo: SEARCH FOR A SOLUTION: Clare Sutton SEARCH FOR A SOLUTION: Clare Sutton

CAMPAIGNERS fighting for access to Weymouth’s Castle Cove Beach are refusing to give up their fight.

A public meeting will be held tonight, Monday, to discuss the way forward.

The stand comes after Clare Sutton, who organised a petition, was forwarded a letter by Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s briefholder for environment and sustainability Ian Roebuck who wanted to send a message to all those who had signed the petition, defending the authority’s stance.

Last month councillors agreed to take no further action to restore access to Castle Cove Beach despite a petition signed by more than 1,700 people calling for the path to be restored.

Cllr Roebuck says he is convinced the access route to the beach is ‘unsafe’ and has outlined the reasons behind the council’s decision.

He said: “My family have spent many happy hours on that beach but I am now convinced that this would be unsafe.”

Cllr Roebuck said that the footpath from the road to the steps down to the beach had ‘become dangerously unstable’ and as a result the borough council and Dorset County Council had taken the joint decision to close it.

After taking legal advice the council was told it would be liable if anyone had an accident on the path and it had to do everything in its power to discourage people, which is why it then removed the steps.

Cllr Roebuck said that council engineers, the Environment Agency and consulting engineers had all looked at the future of the north-west shore of Portland Harbour and estimated that it would cost in the region of a million pounds to address the instability, which was caused by groundwater.

With less than a third of the funding available from central government, the council had spent a year looking for alternative funding but had not had any success.

Cllr Roebuck said: “Even if the steps were restored the path would remain too dangerous for public use."

Clare Sutton, from the local Green Party, is chairing a public meeting this evening to discuss the way forward for those hoping to restore access to the beach. It is at St Nicholas' Church hall, Buxton Road, at 7pm.

She said there were still a number of people interested in searching for a solution, even if it appeared that the council was not going to support them.

Clare said: “There are individuals in the community who are willing to get together an explore some of these issues.”

Comments (12)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:06am Mon 14 Jul 14

JoeyJo says...

I signed the online petition but have not received anything from Cllr Roebuck. Anyone else?
I signed the online petition but have not received anything from Cllr Roebuck. Anyone else? JoeyJo
  • Score: 2

10:50am Mon 14 Jul 14

shy talk says...

The building plot adjacent to the access path has been sold at auction. The asking price was £450,000, which was sold for £455,000 with approved planning permission (Ref: 12/00240/FUL).

The stability report outlines the work to be carried for the plot and area that is if the plot is developed. To some people to buy property along this part of the coastline, is not a good idea for obvious reasons.

Perhaps the campaigners should approach the new owner of the plot to see if the can help in some way.
The building plot adjacent to the access path has been sold at auction. The asking price was £450,000, which was sold for £455,000 with approved planning permission (Ref: 12/00240/FUL). The stability report outlines the work to be carried for the plot and area that is if the plot is developed. To some people to buy property along this part of the coastline, is not a good idea for obvious reasons. Perhaps the campaigners should approach the new owner of the plot to see if the can help in some way. shy talk
  • Score: 4

11:47am Mon 14 Jul 14

Get a grip says...

shy talk wrote:
The building plot adjacent to the access path has been sold at auction. The asking price was £450,000, which was sold for £455,000 with approved planning permission (Ref:If I had just bought this plot of land I would not be keen to have the public walking over any part of it.

I do agree it is a shame that access is not there anymore but equally there is not the money for this
[quote][p][bold]shy talk[/bold] wrote: The building plot adjacent to the access path has been sold at auction. The asking price was £450,000, which was sold for £455,000 with approved planning permission (Ref:If I had just bought this plot of land I would not be keen to have the public walking over any part of it. I do agree it is a shame that access is not there anymore but equally there is not the money for this Get a grip
  • Score: 2

11:53am Mon 14 Jul 14

elloello1980 says...

Get a grip wrote:
shy talk wrote:
The building plot adjacent to the access path has been sold at auction. The asking price was £450,000, which was sold for £455,000 with approved planning permission (Ref:If I had just bought this plot of land I would not be keen to have the public walking over any part of it.

I do agree it is a shame that access is not there anymore but equally there is not the money for thisYes, yes there is.

We're making savings in all the wrong places.

I'm sick of the Tory attitude of making cuts being the only way to save money. lazy and incompetent.

When Weymouth dies because we cut everything that is good out, who then pays to holiday in the town?

sometimes it's smarter to invest money to make money.
[quote][p][bold]Get a grip[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]shy talk[/bold] wrote: The building plot adjacent to the access path has been sold at auction. The asking price was £450,000, which was sold for £455,000 with approved planning permission (Ref:If I had just bought this plot of land I would not be keen to have the public walking over any part of it. I do agree it is a shame that access is not there anymore but equally there is not the money for this[/p][/quote]Yes, yes there is. We're making savings in all the wrong places. I'm sick of the Tory attitude of making cuts being the only way to save money. lazy and incompetent. When Weymouth dies because we cut everything that is good out, who then pays to holiday in the town? sometimes it's smarter to invest money to make money. elloello1980
  • Score: 4

12:20pm Mon 14 Jul 14

The Fish says...

This is a private beach so why should the local council fork out money to make a path down to the beach?
This is a private beach so why should the local council fork out money to make a path down to the beach? The Fish
  • Score: 0

1:16pm Mon 14 Jul 14

Ryan_Hope_1991 says...

JoeyJo wrote:
I signed the online petition but have not received anything from Cllr Roebuck. Anyone else?
Please see bellow the letter i requested to be sent out & the responce from Clare

Dear Ryan

Thank you for your email. I just wanted to let you know that I will not be forwarding any correspondence from any external parties to petition signatories as I do not feel that to be appropriate. However, I will be providing signatories with an update following tomorrow's meeting which may well include some of the points made here in addition to other information. I am sorry you will find this response disappointing, but if you had originated a petition I think it likely you would also feel this to be an inapproriate use of email addresses not provided for this purpose.

I look forward to seeing you tomorrow

Very best wishes

Clare Sutton


On 11/07/2014 19:49, Ryan Hope wrote:

Dear Clare.
I'm writing to you on behalf of the W&P liberal democrats.
We would be extremely grateful if you could pass the following statement on to the petition signers via change.org.
You will note I have cc'd the local press in this but felt it was important to make sure those who signed the petition got a direct response.
I'm intending to attend your meeting Monday night.
Kindest Regards
Cllr Ryan Hope
Westham North Ward
Deputy Group Leader Of The Weymouth & Portland Liberal Democrats
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Access to Castle Cove

I'm writing because you signed the petition to the council asking for the steps to Castle Cove Beach to be restored. As brief holder for the Environment and Sustainability I advised the council to take no action.
My family have spent many happy hours on that beach but I am now convinced that this would be unsafe.
In Spring 2013 the footpath from the road to the steps had become dangerously unstable. The steps were left in place but the path was closed by the borough and county councils. After a couple of months we were given legal advice that leaving the steps in place could lead to us being sued if anyone had an accident. We were told that we must do everything in our power to discourage people. This included removing the steps.
In April 2013 a meeting with the council's engineers, the Environment Agency and consulting engineers looked at the future of the north-west shore of Portland Harbour. The instability is due to groundwater and stabilising it would cost in the region of a million pounds with less than a third from the government. The council has been looking for alternative funding for the past year without success.
Even if the steps were restored the path would remain too dangerous for public use. New steps are not a solution to the problem. It goes much deeper than that.
Following the last wet winter there is now a threat to properties in Old Castle Road and to the main Portland gas supply under the Rodwell Trail. Both of these are higher priorities for the Environment Agency.
I hope that this brief note explains some of the background which led the council to take its decision.
Regards
Cllr Ian Roebuck
Brief holder for the Environment and Sustainability
On behalf of the Weymouth & Portland Liberal Democrats
Cllr Joy Stanley
Cllr John Birtwistle
Cllr Ryan Hope
Cllr Gill Taylor
Cllr Bill White
Cllr Christine James
Cllr Ian Roebuck
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
[quote][p][bold]JoeyJo[/bold] wrote: I signed the online petition but have not received anything from Cllr Roebuck. Anyone else?[/p][/quote]Please see bellow the letter i requested to be sent out & the responce from Clare Dear Ryan Thank you for your email. I just wanted to let you know that I will not be forwarding any correspondence from any external parties to petition signatories as I do not feel that to be appropriate. However, I will be providing signatories with an update following tomorrow's meeting which may well include some of the points made here in addition to other information. I am sorry you will find this response disappointing, but if you had originated a petition I think it likely you would also feel this to be an inapproriate use of email addresses not provided for this purpose. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow Very best wishes Clare Sutton On 11/07/2014 19:49, Ryan Hope wrote: Dear Clare. I'm writing to you on behalf of the W&P liberal democrats. We would be extremely grateful if you could pass the following statement on to the petition signers via change.org. You will note I have cc'd the local press in this but felt it was important to make sure those who signed the petition got a direct response. I'm intending to attend your meeting Monday night. Kindest Regards Cllr Ryan Hope Westham North Ward Deputy Group Leader Of The Weymouth & Portland Liberal Democrats - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Access to Castle Cove I'm writing because you signed the petition to the council asking for the steps to Castle Cove Beach to be restored. As brief holder for the Environment and Sustainability I advised the council to take no action. My family have spent many happy hours on that beach but I am now convinced that this would be unsafe. In Spring 2013 the footpath from the road to the steps had become dangerously unstable. The steps were left in place but the path was closed by the borough and county councils. After a couple of months we were given legal advice that leaving the steps in place could lead to us being sued if anyone had an accident. We were told that we must do everything in our power to discourage people. This included removing the steps. In April 2013 a meeting with the council's engineers, the Environment Agency and consulting engineers looked at the future of the north-west shore of Portland Harbour. The instability is due to groundwater and stabilising it would cost in the region of a million pounds with less than a third from the government. The council has been looking for alternative funding for the past year without success. Even if the steps were restored the path would remain too dangerous for public use. New steps are not a solution to the problem. It goes much deeper than that. Following the last wet winter there is now a threat to properties in Old Castle Road and to the main Portland gas supply under the Rodwell Trail. Both of these are higher priorities for the Environment Agency. I hope that this brief note explains some of the background which led the council to take its decision. Regards Cllr Ian Roebuck Brief holder for the Environment and Sustainability On behalf of the Weymouth & Portland Liberal Democrats Cllr Joy Stanley Cllr John Birtwistle Cllr Ryan Hope Cllr Gill Taylor Cllr Bill White Cllr Christine James Cllr Ian Roebuck - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Ryan_Hope_1991
  • Score: -2

2:06pm Mon 14 Jul 14

cosmick says...

If its a private beach, dont ask for tax payers money.
If its a private beach, dont ask for tax payers money. cosmick
  • Score: 5

2:24pm Mon 14 Jul 14

cerne-abbas says...

JoeyJo wrote:
I signed the online petition but have not received anything from Cllr Roebuck. Anyone else?
If the council; can pay for a Pier that Condor wont use now, then they can pay for steps that people will use.
[quote][p][bold]JoeyJo[/bold] wrote: I signed the online petition but have not received anything from Cllr Roebuck. Anyone else?[/p][/quote]If the council; can pay for a Pier that Condor wont use now, then they can pay for steps that people will use. cerne-abbas
  • Score: 4

4:47pm Mon 14 Jul 14

terra firma says...

Weymouth has a long and historic connection with REME through the Bridging Hard. Has anyone thought of asking them whether they could provide a new 'bridge' as a training exercise?
Weymouth has a long and historic connection with REME through the Bridging Hard. Has anyone thought of asking them whether they could provide a new 'bridge' as a training exercise? terra firma
  • Score: 2

7:44am Tue 15 Jul 14

Naturalised southerner says...

Has anyone considered asking the 'Commodore' if they could use the steps created for the sailing club?
Has anyone considered asking the 'Commodore' if they could use the steps created for the sailing club? Naturalised southerner
  • Score: 1

12:48pm Tue 15 Jul 14

elloello1980 says...

Ryan_Hope_1991 wrote:
JoeyJo wrote:
I signed the online petition but have not received anything from Cllr Roebuck. Anyone else?
Please see bellow the letter i requested to be sent out & the responce from Clare

Dear Ryan

Thank you for your email. I just wanted to let you know that I will not be forwarding any correspondence from any external parties to petition signatories as I do not feel that to be appropriate. However, I will be providing signatories with an update following tomorrow's meeting which may well include some of the points made here in addition to other information. I am sorry you will find this response disappointing, but if you had originated a petition I think it likely you would also feel this to be an inapproriate use of email addresses not provided for this purpose.

I look forward to seeing you tomorrow

Very best wishes

Clare Sutton


On 11/07/2014 19:49, Ryan Hope wrote:

Dear Clare.
I'm writing to you on behalf of the W&P liberal democrats.
We would be extremely grateful if you could pass the following statement on to the petition signers via change.org.
You will note I have cc'd the local press in this but felt it was important to make sure those who signed the petition got a direct response.
I'm intending to attend your meeting Monday night.
Kindest Regards
Cllr Ryan Hope
Westham North Ward
Deputy Group Leader Of The Weymouth & Portland Liberal Democrats
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Access to Castle Cove

I'm writing because you signed the petition to the council asking for the steps to Castle Cove Beach to be restored. As brief holder for the Environment and Sustainability I advised the council to take no action.
My family have spent many happy hours on that beach but I am now convinced that this would be unsafe.
In Spring 2013 the footpath from the road to the steps had become dangerously unstable. The steps were left in place but the path was closed by the borough and county councils. After a couple of months we were given legal advice that leaving the steps in place could lead to us being sued if anyone had an accident. We were told that we must do everything in our power to discourage people. This included removing the steps.
In April 2013 a meeting with the council's engineers, the Environment Agency and consulting engineers looked at the future of the north-west shore of Portland Harbour. The instability is due to groundwater and stabilising it would cost in the region of a million pounds with less than a third from the government. The council has been looking for alternative funding for the past year without success.
Even if the steps were restored the path would remain too dangerous for public use. New steps are not a solution to the problem. It goes much deeper than that.
Following the last wet winter there is now a threat to properties in Old Castle Road and to the main Portland gas supply under the Rodwell Trail. Both of these are higher priorities for the Environment Agency.
I hope that this brief note explains some of the background which led the council to take its decision.
Regards
Cllr Ian Roebuck
Brief holder for the Environment and Sustainability
On behalf of the Weymouth & Portland Liberal Democrats
Cllr Joy Stanley
Cllr John Birtwistle
Cllr Ryan Hope
Cllr Gill Taylor
Cllr Bill White
Cllr Christine James
Cllr Ian Roebuck
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Oh, the Lib Dems have spoken... next!
[quote][p][bold]Ryan_Hope_1991[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JoeyJo[/bold] wrote: I signed the online petition but have not received anything from Cllr Roebuck. Anyone else?[/p][/quote]Please see bellow the letter i requested to be sent out & the responce from Clare Dear Ryan Thank you for your email. I just wanted to let you know that I will not be forwarding any correspondence from any external parties to petition signatories as I do not feel that to be appropriate. However, I will be providing signatories with an update following tomorrow's meeting which may well include some of the points made here in addition to other information. I am sorry you will find this response disappointing, but if you had originated a petition I think it likely you would also feel this to be an inapproriate use of email addresses not provided for this purpose. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow Very best wishes Clare Sutton On 11/07/2014 19:49, Ryan Hope wrote: Dear Clare. I'm writing to you on behalf of the W&P liberal democrats. We would be extremely grateful if you could pass the following statement on to the petition signers via change.org. You will note I have cc'd the local press in this but felt it was important to make sure those who signed the petition got a direct response. I'm intending to attend your meeting Monday night. Kindest Regards Cllr Ryan Hope Westham North Ward Deputy Group Leader Of The Weymouth & Portland Liberal Democrats - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Access to Castle Cove I'm writing because you signed the petition to the council asking for the steps to Castle Cove Beach to be restored. As brief holder for the Environment and Sustainability I advised the council to take no action. My family have spent many happy hours on that beach but I am now convinced that this would be unsafe. In Spring 2013 the footpath from the road to the steps had become dangerously unstable. The steps were left in place but the path was closed by the borough and county councils. After a couple of months we were given legal advice that leaving the steps in place could lead to us being sued if anyone had an accident. We were told that we must do everything in our power to discourage people. This included removing the steps. In April 2013 a meeting with the council's engineers, the Environment Agency and consulting engineers looked at the future of the north-west shore of Portland Harbour. The instability is due to groundwater and stabilising it would cost in the region of a million pounds with less than a third from the government. The council has been looking for alternative funding for the past year without success. Even if the steps were restored the path would remain too dangerous for public use. New steps are not a solution to the problem. It goes much deeper than that. Following the last wet winter there is now a threat to properties in Old Castle Road and to the main Portland gas supply under the Rodwell Trail. Both of these are higher priorities for the Environment Agency. I hope that this brief note explains some of the background which led the council to take its decision. Regards Cllr Ian Roebuck Brief holder for the Environment and Sustainability On behalf of the Weymouth & Portland Liberal Democrats Cllr Joy Stanley Cllr John Birtwistle Cllr Ryan Hope Cllr Gill Taylor Cllr Bill White Cllr Christine James Cllr Ian Roebuck - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -[/p][/quote]Oh, the Lib Dems have spoken... next! elloello1980
  • Score: 0

3:14pm Tue 15 Jul 14

honest-john says...

It matters not whether the beach is privately owned if the public can have free access as they have for decades, why would anyone expect the owners to pay for this??
The real debate is about why the council - i.e. all but one of the councillors who voted, decided that the 1700 people who signed the petition weren't worth listening to. Odd really when not a single one of the councillors got 1700 votes when they were elected.
And to dismiss the democratic process as a "Green Stunt" is surely the height of arrogance.
We need to have a open minded debate on the issue and see if the cost is warranted, rather than make sweeping unfounded statement and suggest it will cost a £1million, a figure plucked from the air, what a shame the council did not take a little more care with the multi million pound Condor fiasco.
It's about cost and benefit.
As for the equally biased statement that he council would be liable, the council has insurance and providing it is not "reckless" it is covered, Of all the Dorset footpaths this is so not the most dangerous, but as users we take a risk, just as we do when we cross the far more lethal Boot Hill crossing, but there are no moves to close that - at the moment.
It matters not whether the beach is privately owned if the public can have free access as they have for decades, why would anyone expect the owners to pay for this?? The real debate is about why the council - i.e. all but one of the councillors who voted, decided that the 1700 people who signed the petition weren't worth listening to. Odd really when not a single one of the councillors got 1700 votes when they were elected. And to dismiss the democratic process as a "Green Stunt" is surely the height of arrogance. We need to have a open minded debate on the issue and see if the cost is warranted, rather than make sweeping unfounded statement and suggest it will cost a £1million, a figure plucked from the air, what a shame the council did not take a little more care with the multi million pound Condor fiasco. It's about cost and benefit. As for the equally biased statement that he council would be liable, the council has insurance and providing it is not "reckless" it is covered, Of all the Dorset footpaths this is so not the most dangerous, but as users we take a risk, just as we do when we cross the far more lethal Boot Hill crossing, but there are no moves to close that - at the moment. honest-john
  • Score: 5

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree