Blackhead Path will cost £3.5m to repair

Sections of Blackhead Path have been closed for health and safety reasons. INCT 32-790-CON
Sections of Blackhead Path have been closed for health and safety reasons. INCT 32-790-CON

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has unveiled urgent plans for extensive repairs at Blackhead Path in Whitehead at a cost of £3.5 million.

The local authority has published a planning application for repairs at land adjacent to the lighthouse at McCrae’s Brae after a structural engineer’s report recommended urgent remedial works.

A petition has been signed by 6,000 Whitehead residents demanding the reopening of the popular tourist attraction.

The first phase of repairs will include new mesh safety features and a 200 metre stretch of new armour causeway at the Castletown section after severe subsidence forced the closure of the path in August.

The section between Whitehead carpark to the Old Castle Road is shut due to serious safety concerns.

The council has warned of “significant movement along the path” and the possibility of land slippage or rock fall at any time.

The path has moved 30cms in the last year and 17cms during July.

Large cracks along the path have also been identified “indicating likely structural failure of the concrete wall and possible collapse”.

The council is confident that the upgrade of this path “does not only meet the expectations of the residents who live along the path and the many users within the Whitehead area but also plays a part in a wider tourism product”.