Work to repair path could take months


Paul Caruana and Cllr Rob Nolan inspect the damage as a collapsed bank closes Sunny Corner near Malpas.

28th April 2021

By Kirstie Newton

A riverside footpath at Sunny Corner is closed indefinitely due to the danger of rockfall. Investigations are under way to determine the likelihood of rock slippage at the scenic spot on Malpas Road, just beyond Boscawen Park.

The decision to close the path was made by Cornwall Council, which owns the area. Remedial work was undertaken on April 20, and council operatives were due to test drill the area today to ascertain the state and depth of the rock.

Paul Caruana, chairman of the Friends of Sunny Corner group, said: “There has always been an issue with rock slippage at Sunny Corner, but to date, it has been very small amounts and of no real concern. However, the sheer volume and weight of the current slippage is worrying, with the potential to cause fatal injury if it were to fall onto somebody, hence the very clear and obvious decision to close it temporarily.

“There is a massive overhang immediately above the narrowest part of the footpath.
The rock and soil is very loose and liable to fall at any time. The remedial work turned out to be only the start of what needs to happen before the area can be declared safe.”

The closure will affect those needing disabled access, with the alternative route to the seating area and shelter involving steps. “Wheelchair-bound individuals the less firm are clearly frustrated, but the safety of all users is paramount,” Mr Caruana continued. “Until the whole area has been made safe to use, the closure will remain in place.”

Rob Nolan, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for the environment, said the work could take weeks, or even months. “Similar to landslips on the coast path, I suspect this is the result of heavy rain followed by dry weather,” he said. “We will push to get on with it as we want to get it open to the public again. It’s such a lovely spot to sit, very peaceful compared with the busy park, and as such is very popular.”

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