Fears have been expressed that a 600-tonne landslip at Blairgowrie’s Oakbank Road could affect the council’s proposed regeneration work at Riverside.
Officials also said this week that the walk along the banks of the River Ericht, part of the Cateran Trail and one of the most popular walks in Blairgowrie, could end up having to be closed to pedestrians.
Two years ago the road was closed to vehicles from Lower Mill Street following a similar slippage just yards from the latest occurrence, which has narrowed the road to about a car’s width.
The incident took place a few yards upstream of the Cuttle Burn where an estimated 600 tonnes of roadway and trees slipped into the river.
After an inspection of the area on Tuesday by local councillor Bob Ellis, who is also chair of Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust, and Alistair Godfrey, countryside management officer, and Daniele Muir, countryside ranger, a statement from Perth and Kinross Council indicated the landslip had resulted from recent very wet conditions.
A spokesperson said: “The affected location is on privately-owned land and, therefore, as is usual in these circumstances, we will be contacting the landowner regarding the matter.”
Councillor Ellis said the weather over the past few weeks had taken its toll on one of East Perthshire’s favourite walks.
He said: “An inspection was carried out by council staff of the area of Oakbank Road just above the Cuttle Burn on the Cateran Trail. The results of the inspection will be discussed by the council and steps will be taken to carry out appropriate measures. There is a possibility that the path may have to be closed in the interest of public safety.
“The affected land is leased by the council and the landowner will be contacted soon to appraise him of the current position. Any decision on closure will not be taken lightly, but we have to consider all health and safety aspects of the path conditions for everyone, whether local residents or visitors.
“The heavy rains experienced just before Christmas resulted in the bank below the Oakbank Road becoming saturated and the weight of water on the soft, clayey soil caused the retaining wall at the bottom of the bank to fail, resulting in the collapse of some 500-plus tonnes of earth and the edge of the path.
“If Oakbank Road has to be closed Perth and Kinross Council will set up diversions with information notices on alternative routes. To see the damage to these two areas caused by the elements is very distressing and I hope we get a solution soon.”