RESIDENTS fear a landslip in residential area of Weymouth could prevent homes being accessed by emergency services amid the coronavirus crisis.

There has been a landslide next to Old Castle Road at an area of land that is currently being developed.

Dorset Council says the land is the responsibility of the private landowner, but has put temporary traffic lights in place to reduce traffic flow to one-way only to reduce risk.

However one resident, who asked not to be named, also said the landslip is so close to the road it could soon make nearby homes 'unreachable.'

Community groups have also expressed concern.

Local campaigner and Dorset Council member Clare Sutton, who represents Rodwell and Wyke Regis ward, said residents and the Friends of Castle Cove and Friends of the Rodwell Trail community groups, as well as the nearby sailing club, are "extremely concerned".

“Around 90 properties in Old Castle Road and Sandsfoot Court near the Rodwell Trail could potentially be affected," Cllr Sutton said.

"As things stand, access will become very difficult when the road gets busier – if the situation deteriorates further, residents fear they may lose vehicular access.

"If emergency services are unable to access vulnerable and elderly people in these properties we will have a very serious problem.

“I’m liaising with officers at Dorset Council, who are in contact with the developer who owns the land below the road. In my view, whether the liability lies with the developer remains unclear at this point but I hope we will have more clarity soon.”

Dorset Council said the slip is around four metres from the road, with a sheer drop of around four to five metres. The area was already fenced due to the upcoming development of the site.

John Burridge, Dorset Council Structures team leader, said: “The landslip is about four metres away from Old Castle Road on private land and there is currently no sign of distress in the carriageway.

“As a precaution, the road has been reduced to a single lane to move drivers away from the immediate area of the landslip. Temporary traffic lights are in place as driver sightlines at this location are not very good with this narrowing of the road.

“We’re currently liaising with the private landowner to understand what the next steps might be.”