I have read with interest the various points raised regarding the pros and cons for the new cycle/walking path along the shore at Fairlie. As a non-inhabitant of the quiet backwater that is Fairlie, I have thus far kept out of the debate.

However I decided from an engineering point of view to have a look see at the proposals and the location. Having done this as recent as Sunday past, I have to agree with Paddy Cronin, the local architect, that the current proposals are an expensive short term fix.

From my point of view whether the local residents are in favour of a path or not, it is apparent that the bed rock outcrops all along the shore in front of the section between Bay Street and The Causeway.

It would therefore be a straight forward Civil Engineering exercise to remove the overburden by pressure washing and lay a level blinding layer of concrete on to the exposed rock. Thereafter dowels could be drilled in to the rock and a 50 Newton reinforced concrete wave wall constructed along the entire section. The distance out from the existing sea defences and the finished height would be for the residents to decide.

This proposal will not be cheap as it will be a tidal operation, however it will give the residents of the existing properties along the shore, the comfort that a new structural concrete sea defence will be able to mitigate the rising sea levels and repel the occasional north-westerly gale and further, guarantee their homes from damage well in to the next century.

There will be arguments about the non rustic appearance of a homogenous structure. This can be mitigated by using suitable materials to provide an exposed aggregate finish.

I wish you well with your deliberations.

Archie Burleigh