The cost of repair work to re-open a public coastal path connecting Coppet Hall to Wisemans Bridge following recent rock falls is going to be ‘substantial’ a local county councillor has revealed.

Last month, rock slides on the route, saw the footpath closed to the public, and unlikely to re-open until after the summer, after the tunnel was blocked off.

Coppet hall tunnel closed
The Council has made an order temporarily prohibiting all vehicular and non vehicular access on the shared use footpath from Coppet Hall Point (Observer pic)

Saundersfoot’s county councillors Chris Williams and Alec Cormack subsequently met with Pembrokeshire County Council’s Highways Infrastructure Manager, and Maintenance Manager who was involved with organising a technical report from the first fall and would also be dealing with the latest fall.

“The much larger rock fall over the Coppet Hall side entrance of the long tunnel is a much more significant rock fall and there seems potential for more to come down,” said Cllr Williams.

“It is also significant in that it is above the tunnel entrance location and is a major concern.

“The locations of the current rock falls are very dangerous. It is not as simple as clearing up the fallen material and reopening the path.

Coppet hall rock fall
The rock-fall snapped the metal railings on the edge of the path, with the tunnel vanishing under a huge mound of earth, but luckily no-one was hurt. (Observer pic)

“The project tasks include getting the further technical appraisal work for the new fall.

“Regarding the first rock fall the conclusions have stated, that protection measures are required for this slope to reduce the risks to pedestrians using the costal path.

“Due to the presence of large, unstable blocks with a high failure potential, the footpath should remain closed to pedestrians until remedial works are completed.

“Design of the remedial work has also been commissioned. The cost of the work is substantial and capital funding will have to be found for the works and this is being pursued currently.

“This includes looking at potential external sources of funding.

“At the moment, no external funding has been identified, albeit it is obviously being carefully examined. Subject to this, we can then proceed with the construction work and get the path reopened.

Coppet Hall beach
Coppet Hall beach (Observer pic)

Cllr Williams went onto say that it was also noted during the site inspection that numerous members of the public were ignoring the ‘Closed path’ signs and attempting to move the fencing to enter the area.

“The meeting went very well and all were optimistic that the path will reopen when it’s safe to do so.

“This fall is of great concern, not only to the local residents but also to those in the surrounding areas who enjoy the coastal walk on the flat between Saundersfoot and Wisemans Bridge.

“I’m sure you’re all aware that the community, businesses and visitors all want this open as soon as possible,” he added.