Work has started on essential work on cliffs above Quay Street in Minehead – and it’s very much business as usual for traders in the area.

West Somerset Council has commissioned experts to carry out remedial work on the steep hillside to protect properties below and the project is likely to take three weeks.

Work got under way on Monday 20 June at the harbour end of the road and is progressing well, with contractors taking full advantage of calm weather.

The highly visual nature of the work is drawing onlookers who are able to watch the operation from safe vantage points. Residents are welcoming the work that is being carried out above their properties.

Cllr Mandy Chilcott, Deputy Leader of the council and a Minehead ward member, said she was pleased the work was on schedule and that the weather was favourable.

“The reason we have to carry out this essential work now is to take full advantage of fair weather, rather than the autumn when it could have been affected by strong winds. It is vital that the remedial work is done as soon as possible.

“I know that residents are relieved this work is being done and we are also working with businesses in Quay Street, Quay West and the harbour and would encourage people to do all they can to support them. It’s vital this work is carried out and we are doing our utmost to minimise disruption.”

Quay Street is being closed to vehicles from 9.30am-4.30pm on weekdays but pedestrian access is being maintained – meaning people can easily reach affected businesses – Tea at the Quay tearooms, The Old Ship Aground pub, The Echo Beach café, the fishing tackle shop at the harbour and charter fishing boats.

The road closure is in place for safety reasons as a heavy-duty crane is operating on site, taking material – tree branches and rock – from the hillside.

Operational work includes emptying nets designed to catch debris, strengthening fixings for the nets and some tree removal and maintenance.

Quay West car park is closed for the duration of the work as it is the compound for machinery, equipment and welfare facilities for those working on site. The gents’ loos are closed but the ladies’ remain open for the public. Special parking arrangements are in place for affected Quay Street and Quay West residents and businesses.