A popular Angus cliff path remains closed weeks after a dramatic landslip trapped a group of people on a local beach.
Scottish Water has promised action to repair the damage caused by tonnes of earth sliding down the steep banking from the clifftop village of Auchmithie on the outskirts of Arbroath.
However, the agency has been criticised by the housing association which owns the land for “negligence” which they say led to the landslip, and a lack of communication since it happened.
A full-scale emergency response was launched after a policeman and six other people – three adults and three children – were cut off by the landslide during the afternoon of July 10 at the busy beauty spot where Holywood star Scarlett Johansson filmed scenes for a movie in 2011.
Montrose, Arbroath and Carnoustie coastguard rescue teams, along with police and Arbroath lifeboat, were involved in the operation to rescue the group stranded at the old harbour.
No-one was injured but fears for their safety due to what was described as a deteriorating situation, led to the group being transferred by inshore lifeboat to a fishing boat and then taken to Arbroath.
Scottish Water said contractors had been on site this week carrying out repairs.
“We apologise for any inconvenience while this work is carried out and thank customers for their patience,” said a spokesman.
Although the works had been expected to be completed earlier this week, the road and path remained blocked off by barriers on Tuesday evening.
Angus Housing Association owns the land, as well as many of the properties in the historic fishing village, famed for being the original home of the Arbroath smokie.
Director Bruce Forbes said: “The only official function the road serves is for Scottish Water access to empty septic tanks.
“I welcome Scottish Water’s pledge that they will repair the damage and hope that means they will clear all the slurry from the path and the steps, which were completely covered.
“The leaking water main was reported and then the landslip happened because of Scottish Water’s negligence so we would have expected them to get their act together and sort it out.
“Angus Housing Association is also extremely disappointed that there has been no direct contact from Scottish Water, which we as landowners would have expected when this happened.”
The incident is likely to heighten the issue of future access to the beach, which is also understood to be in the lens of other filmmakers following A-lister Johansson’s visit there to film scenes for a film called Under The Skin.
Angus Council also had engineers on site on the day of the landslip and erected the barriers to prevent public access, but have had no further direct involvement in the matter.
A local councillor has said he intends to liaise with the relevant interests to ensure the path and road are safe for future use by locals and visitors.
The latest incident follows a series of landslips several years ago which closed a two-mile stretch of clifftop pathway running from Arbroath’s Victoria Park to Auchmithie, prompting calls for onger term remedial measures to be taken.