A picturesque section of the Isle of Wight's coastal footpath remains closed after the owners of the land it goes across withdrew from negotiations to reopen it.

Residents, Brighstone Parish Council and the IW Council are concerned about the matter and are looking for a solution.

The footpath through Brighstone Holiday Centre is a permissive path, which means the owners can withdraw access if they wish.

It has been closed since early this year, but despite repeated attempts at negotiations, has failed to be reopened.

An Isle of Wight Council spokesperson explained: “The original (legal) path was lost to coastal erosion many years ago. An alternative route was provided which was also lost in 2018/19.

“The council negotiated with the new landowner to establish a route through the site which was clearly signed as being ‘permissive’.

"It was also identified as the route for the new England Coast Path National Trail by Natural England.

“In early 2021, the site managers reported a problem with the sewage system and requested a closure of the whole route between Grange Farm and Isle of Wight Pearl, concerned about the public health risk.

"As the path was permissive, it was within their gift to remove its use.

"They also reported several concerns regarding users straying from the permissive path, vandalism, dogs off leads and dog fouling and its impact on the maintenance and use of the site by their clients.

“The council has no powers to require it to be reopened and Natural England’s proposals have not yet been approved by the Secretary of State.

“A number of site meetings have been held to discuss a way to resolve access and the council had agreed to covering the cost of equipment to remove redundant chalets to provide space to reinstate a permissive path seaward of the derelict chalets.

"The authority had also agreed to fund any necessary fencing to secure the rest of the site from users of the path.

“Deadlines were set but were unable to be met by the site managers, who have subsequently received legal advice to halt our discussions and the completion of any works on site.

"Both the IW Council and Natural England have offered further discussions with the landowner’s agent. We have yet to receive a response to this.

“The council and Natural England remain actively committed to finding a solution as our Rights of Way team have responded to many enquiries from concerned users of the coastal path, wishing to know what is happening on site and what might be done to resolve the access issue.”

A Brighstone resident said: "It's been months now and there’s no obvious work on site and no re-opened path.

"The end chalet has toppled over the edge of the cliff and the debris is still there."

Walkers have to walk along the edge of the Military Road between Grange Farm and Isle of Wight Pearl.

The matter of the footpath was discussed at Brighstone Parish Council's November meeting, where members heard that Rights of Way are unable to enforce action to re-open the footpath through the holiday camp.

The County Press has made several attempts to contact the owners of Brighstone Holiday Centre.