The Isle of Wight Council has a duty to protect the iconic Military Road, a councillor has said, after plans to save part of it were refused.

Last night (Tuesday), members of the Isle of Wight Council's planning committee voted to reject works to stabilise a section of the route due to the significant environmental impact it would have.

However, Cllr Matt Price said if the council left it to fail while further debate continued, the Military Road would end up being closed, and the council has a duty to protect it.

He said he did not feel another option for saving the road would come forward and he found it hard to vote against the principle of keeping the Military Road in place.

Island Roads wanted to install a 26m long wall with 21m deep piles to stop further cliff erosion but that idea was rejected by seven votes to two.

Cllr Claire Critchison joined Cllr Price in calling the Military Road a lifeline for the people in the south of the Island.

She said the traffic that would funnel through the small villages if the Military Road were to close would be unacceptable and cause damage.

Cllr Critichison said people did not want to see the road go but also weren't in support of the proposed scheme, so it was difficult to say no to the plans.

Isle of Wight County Press: The section of Military Road.

Local ward councillor, Nick Stuart, said the community could not believe the iconic asset would be left to vanish but he said the proposed scheme between Brook and Hanover Point would cause major damage to the geology, scenery, botany and wildlife.

Councillors said it was regrettable that another alternative plan had not come forward.

It was highlighted that other solutions — including rerouting the road or a moveable bridge — had been discussed for years.

The committee said a refusal of the application would allow other alternatives to come forward to protect the route, which was not at the cost of the environment and the right long-term solution.