Dorset Council’s cabinet has approved a £4.3million scheme to stabilise Dinah’s Hollow on the C13 between Shaftesbury and Melbury Abbas.
The council says lives could be at risk if a landslip occurs. A 2014 study showed that one of the 15m high slopes had a potential slip volume of 750 tonnes.
Environmental campaigners won’t be pleased. Several trees and some of the foliage along the holloway will be removed. Cllr Jane Somper asked yesterday’s meeting whether trees will be planted elsewhere to mitigate the impact. She was told that there are no additional tree planting plans.
Cllr Ray Bryan oversees Dorset Highways projects and he has previously stated that some trees will be retained along the crest of the slopes to minimise the visual impact of the works. Mesh will be stretched across the banks and held in place with metal studs known as soil nails to prevent slippage.
In our report, Cllr Bryan explains how Dorset Council will determine when this work can start. The seven-month closure will increase two-way traffic on the A350 and on the local lanes. This concerns Cllr Sherry Jespersen, as you’ll hear in our report.
Melbury Abbas Parish Council will discuss the controversial decision tonight. Their chairman, William Kenealy, opposes the work, claiming it is unnecessary and a waste of money. He had requested a meeting to discuss the plans on behalf of the parish council. Cllr Bryan says that’s not currently possible due to COVID-19 safety measures.