Highcliffe Castle zig zag rebuild

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Plans are being developed to rebuild this popular beach access. Have your say here.




The Highcliffe Castle Zig Zag Path is now open to the public and an official opening will take place in the near future. Construction work on the path was completed 18th April 2019, ready for visitors and residents to enjoy and use over the Easter weekend. Planting is due to take place this autumn.






December 2018

Work on site is progressing well with all steel king posts (77 in total number) installed with the exception of 6 number which have been left until later to enable access to the top ramp section.

The contractor will not be working over the Christmas break, however, work to place the concrete walling between the king posts will commence after Christmas. Despite the recent heavy rain, work on site is currently on programme to complete as scheduled. Work will recommence on Thursday 3rd January 2019.

Drone footage of zig zig works


November 2018

The main contractor, Earlcoate Construction & Plant Hire Limited will construct the new path with a king post retaining wall, incorporating drainage which takes into account the unique geology of the site. The retaining wall will be clad with recycled groyne timber. A detailed plan of the new path can be viewed here.

To prepare, vegetation has been cleared to provide access and ensure that the works can begin on the 12th November 2018. The path construction works will take place over winter with work scheduled to be completed by April 2019.

October 2018

The construction contract has been awarded to Earlcoate Construction & Plant Hire Limited who has started immediately in procuring materials to commence construction of the new path on the 12th November.

September 2018

The full planning application for the Highcliffe Castle zig zag path rebuild was approved by Christchurch Borough Council Planning Committee on the 16th August 2018. The graphic plan for the zig zag path which formed part of the planning application can be viewed here.

March 2018

The Highcliffe Castle zig zag path project is now back on course with Members of Christchurch Borough Council voting to proceed with the rebuild of the path at the Full Council meeting held on on the 20th February 2018. Members followed the recommendation from the member-led Highcliffe zig zag Task and Finish Group and agreed unanimously to set aside the additional funds needed for the cliff stabilisation and path construction.

Project Background

The zig-zag access was popular with local residents and visitors alike, but has been closed since mid-March 2017 because of structural concerns resulting from cliff movement. This project plans to rebuild the zig-zag with a modern, fit-for purpose engineering solution, seeking to make the access an attractive, pleasant experience for all who use it.

The full council decision means that additional funding of £239,500 will be needed to allow the path to be rebuilt. The total budget allocated is now £884,500 rather than the estimate of £1,250,000 provided by AECOM consulting engineers last year.

In August 2017 Members of Christchurch Borough Council’s Community Committee voted not to proceed with the reconstruction of the path, based on a report from consulting engineers AECOM. The estimated cost for implementing the cheapest viable solution with an estimated 30 year lifespan was approximately £900,000. When contingency allowances and any cosmetic enhancements were included the cost for the rebuild could have been up to £1.25m, a funding gap of £670,000.

Christchurch Borough Council, in October 2017, rescinded their Community Committee's previous decision to halt the project and voted to set up a task and finish group. The purpose of this group was to investigate alternative options which would be more financially viable than the original proposal. The task and finish group, which is comprised of councillors and invited officers, reported back to full Council in February 2018.

The Coastal Communities Fund was originally granted to renew the the zig zag path between Highcliffe Castle and the beach below was part of the ‘Coastal Connections- people and places’ bid to the Coastal Communities Fund (CCF), and was awarded £280,000 towards its costs from this successful bid, granted in April 2017. The remainder of the funding is being provided by Christchurch Borough Council.






The Highcliffe Castle Zig Zag Path is now open to the public and an official opening will take place in the near future. Construction work on the path was completed 18th April 2019, ready for visitors and residents to enjoy and use over the Easter weekend. Planting is due to take place this autumn.






December 2018

Work on site is progressing well with all steel king posts (77 in total number) installed with the exception of 6 number which have been left until later to enable access to the top ramp section.

The contractor will not be working over the Christmas break, however, work to place the concrete walling between the king posts will commence after Christmas. Despite the recent heavy rain, work on site is currently on programme to complete as scheduled. Work will recommence on Thursday 3rd January 2019.

Drone footage of zig zig works


November 2018

The main contractor, Earlcoate Construction & Plant Hire Limited will construct the new path with a king post retaining wall, incorporating drainage which takes into account the unique geology of the site. The retaining wall will be clad with recycled groyne timber. A detailed plan of the new path can be viewed here.

To prepare, vegetation has been cleared to provide access and ensure that the works can begin on the 12th November 2018. The path construction works will take place over winter with work scheduled to be completed by April 2019.

October 2018

The construction contract has been awarded to Earlcoate Construction & Plant Hire Limited who has started immediately in procuring materials to commence construction of the new path on the 12th November.

September 2018

The full planning application for the Highcliffe Castle zig zag path rebuild was approved by Christchurch Borough Council Planning Committee on the 16th August 2018. The graphic plan for the zig zag path which formed part of the planning application can be viewed here.

March 2018

The Highcliffe Castle zig zag path project is now back on course with Members of Christchurch Borough Council voting to proceed with the rebuild of the path at the Full Council meeting held on on the 20th February 2018. Members followed the recommendation from the member-led Highcliffe zig zag Task and Finish Group and agreed unanimously to set aside the additional funds needed for the cliff stabilisation and path construction.

Project Background

The zig-zag access was popular with local residents and visitors alike, but has been closed since mid-March 2017 because of structural concerns resulting from cliff movement. This project plans to rebuild the zig-zag with a modern, fit-for purpose engineering solution, seeking to make the access an attractive, pleasant experience for all who use it.

The full council decision means that additional funding of £239,500 will be needed to allow the path to be rebuilt. The total budget allocated is now £884,500 rather than the estimate of £1,250,000 provided by AECOM consulting engineers last year.

In August 2017 Members of Christchurch Borough Council’s Community Committee voted not to proceed with the reconstruction of the path, based on a report from consulting engineers AECOM. The estimated cost for implementing the cheapest viable solution with an estimated 30 year lifespan was approximately £900,000. When contingency allowances and any cosmetic enhancements were included the cost for the rebuild could have been up to £1.25m, a funding gap of £670,000.

Christchurch Borough Council, in October 2017, rescinded their Community Committee's previous decision to halt the project and voted to set up a task and finish group. The purpose of this group was to investigate alternative options which would be more financially viable than the original proposal. The task and finish group, which is comprised of councillors and invited officers, reported back to full Council in February 2018.

The Coastal Communities Fund was originally granted to renew the the zig zag path between Highcliffe Castle and the beach below was part of the ‘Coastal Connections- people and places’ bid to the Coastal Communities Fund (CCF), and was awarded £280,000 towards its costs from this successful bid, granted in April 2017. The remainder of the funding is being provided by Christchurch Borough Council.