WORK has begun on a £5 million scheme to stabilise cliffs along the Holland-on-Sea coastline.

The project addresses several areas of unstable cliff, protecting them from future collapse and allowing better access to the beach from the seafront road.

A stretch of the cliffs between Gunfleet Sailing Club and the Flags Café will be stabilised.

The main contractor Jackson Civil Engineering started preliminary works in August.

The improvements will make it easier for wheelchair users and those with mobility problems to access the seafront.

A compound has been set up at Hazlemere car park, storing promenade beach huts and memorial benches while the work is carried out.

Permanent works begin this month and will see the installation of structures to support the slope.

These works include piling, with a large crane on site, and will take around two months to complete.

Slope regrading is scheduled to start in March and will be focused on making the slopes shallower.

The project is due to be completed by next summer.

The scheme has been funded by Tendring Council and a cash pot left over from the £36 million Clacton sea defence scheme.

Contractors are also working with Holland Haven Primary School on a pupil art project connected to the plans Mick Skeels, who is the Tendring councillor with special responsibility for tourism, hailed the project as a chance to “really open up” the seafront and beaches.

“Our new beaches formed with the recent sea defence scheme are fantastic but to get the most out of them we want to make them more accessible to people,” he said.

“This project allows us to do that, while protecting the cliffs for years to come as well.

“I am glad to see construction is underway, including the delicate process of moving the beach huts, and I cannot wait to see the cliffs when the work is completed.”

He added: “I would also remind members of the public not to try to access the site or go through the fencing.

“This is, after all, a construction site, and it has been fenced off for safety reasons.”