A tiny north-east community that has been battling with a landslip all winter is preparing to “open for business” in time for Easter.
Harbour Road in Gardenstown has been closed to traffic on a regular basis since December and heavy rain earlier this month led to another slide which knocked over a temporary wall.
The clean-up operation is under way and the council are putting in £1.5million to secure a permanent fix for the crumbling cliff face.
Now locals who live at the bottom of the picturesque village will soon be able to access the top in their vehicles after the local authority announced a series of controlled openings.
The first one is due to take place on Good Friday between 1pm and 7.30pm. The next two will between 9am and 7.30pm on Saturday and Easter Sunday followed by a 9am to 1pm slot on Monday.
Andy Sturdy, secretary of the Gardenstown village action committee, welcomed the move and said it was time to focus on the “positives” after months of disruption.
He said: “We want to be thinking about the positives rather than complaining to the council about it taking so long.
“The council have been aware that we needed this Easter opening and we have got these four days. It is still supervised opening but it is a little longer in the evening.
“They are telling us they hope to have full time opening from April 6 onwards. That is going to be monitored in some way with a traffic light arrangement so if the ground starts to move the lights will go on and stop us coming through.
“We want to impress on everyone that we are open for business and there is nothing stopping from people coming to see us from Friday.”
Steve Woodward, who owns holiday cottages in the village, said it shows the situation is starting to change for the better.
He said: “It is all good news at the moment and they have got some ideas about the cause so it is very welcome.
“Everything is a bit more optimistic I would say and this thing about opening over Easter is a good thing.
“We have got three cottages in Gardenstown and two of them are booked so it was good to tell people things are looking up.
“Hopefully things will begin to improve now.”
A council spokeswoman said: “The emergency services are being advised of these new traffic management proposals and will adapt their procedures accordingly.
“As with previous manned openings, if, either before or during the openings, the slope is deemed unsafe, the road will be closed until it is safe to re-open it.”