One of Edinburgh’s most beautiful walkways is set to reopen this year, following a delay in repair works due to legal ownership disputes and the coronavirus pandemic.

The section of the Dean Path along the Water of Leith has been closed on and off since 2012, when slope movements forced a closure lasting around two and a half years.

The path reopened, but had to close again in early 2016 after remedial works failed and the slope moved again.

The path has been closed since, and legal liability disputes have delayed permanent repairs being made, as well as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Now, The City of Edinburgh Council has announced that a constructor has now been appointed for the job and that work will commence soon.

It is anticipated that the on-site time for the construction work will span approximately 26 weeks, starting in May, leading to a hopeful completion date around the end of October 2021.

Cllr Max Mitchell said: “I cannot begin to express how pleased I am that the bank is finally going to be properly repaired after so many years. I really do understand and share residents’ frustration at the time this has taken, but I am grateful for their patience.

“It may have seemed like little was being done, but council officials have been working incredibly hard on this behind the scenes.

“It really is a beautiful route along the Water of Leith here and, hopefully, by autumn the path will be reopened so it can be safely used and enjoyed once again.”

According to the council, the works which need completed include: the clearance of debris and vegetation on the slope; soil nailing and piling; the reinstatement of concrete foundations of the upslope property, and the repair and reinstatement of the footpath located along the Water of Leith affected by the landslip.

It is not clear if the footbridge at the Dean Village will also be repaired at the same time.

Culture and Communities Convener, Cllr Donald Wilson, said: “The ongoing pandemic has had a great impact on the construction work necessary for the re-opening of the Dean Path.

“We are delighted to be moving forward with the project and that work will begin shortly. Its restoration will return a key section of our off-road paths network which I know will be welcomed by the many people who enjoy using it.”

Vice-Convener of Culture and Communities, Cllr Amy McNeese-Mechan, said: “It’s fantastic to see this project progressing, which will see a key route restored to the area, benefiting walkers, runners and cyclists.

“As the works on the path and bridge get underway, I want to take the opportunity to remind those nearby to take workers’ safety into consideration when passing the site.

“Please remember to stick to the ongoing guidance to keep us all safe.”

By Joseph Anderson Local Democracy Reporter

The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) is a public service news agency : funded by the BBC, provided by the local news sector, and used by qualifying partners. Local Democracy Reporters cover top-tier local authorities and other public service organisations.