WORK to secure a Weymouth street at risk of crumbling down the side of a cliff will start on Monday, to the delight of residents.

As reported, Old Castle Road has been threatened by landslides for decades, and part of the highway has been closed to traffic following the latest slip earlier this year.

This summer an alarming engineer's report commissioned by Dorset Council revealed how 90 homes were at risk of being cut off as the road faced imminent collapse.

But now a private landowner who recently bought the site has agreed to carry out the necessary work to shore up the road, which will start next week.

Phase one will involve remedial action at the edge of the highway to prevent the cliff edge and road from further slips.

Steve Elsworth of Old Castle Road Residents’ Association (Ocrra) said he was delighted by the news.

He said: "It's fantastic. This is exactly the result we'd hoped for when Ocrra was set up six months ago. I'm pleased as a parrot.

"The council, the community and the new landowner have all been talking to each other - it's a testament to the fact that when people communicate, you can get things done.

"We've been impressed by the fact this new landowner is intensely keen on getting to know the neighbours and become part of the community - it's very refreshing.

"Everyone around the table has good intentions and wants to make it work."

It comes after Dorset Council revealed the authority was considering rerouting traffic across the Rodwell Trail.

Dorset Council said the first phase will involve piling work to enable building on the land to continue safely, with the slope being fully stabilised as part of the development process.

The work will involve installing a set of closely spaced, bored piles with small gaps between them.

This close spacing forms a wall to retain the ground, while the gaps allow water to drain through – an essential feature, as any build up of water draining off the highway could cause another landslide.

The council is supporting the project, with the work taking place before the worst of the winter weather arrives.

The road will remain one-way under temporary traffic lights until the area is made safe.

Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council's portfolio holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: “This is really positive progress and I’m hopeful that it will reassure local residents of the continued access along Old Castle Road.

“This significant step forward has been, in large, down to the site owner’s willingness to talk openly with us about his plans, so that we can work together to achieve a common goal.”

The council explained that the geotechnical report had identified a translational landslide – a down-slope movement of material – caused by rainwater running off the road and onto the cliffs.

The effects of this groundwater drainage can be seen along the Jurassic Coast, where there is a high risk of landslips following substantial rainfall.