Sea defence work at West Bay
You may not have heard but there is some crucial sea defence work going on at West Bay currently and it’s quite a spectacle! Over the next few weeks, there is work going on on both east beach and west bay at West Bay to protect the town from flooding from wave overtopping during the biggest storms.
The multi million pound project is seeing large rocks, up to 10 tonnes heavy, being delivered straight onto the beach from a barge. These rocks are being buried underneath east beach in order to provide a more structured core to the beach. This will remain buried during most extreme events, allowing the beach to retain its existing appearance. This helps to prevent the beach being breached or overtopped by waves, which would put 148 residential properties and 112 commercial properties at risk. Up to 40,000 tonnes of rock and 10,000 tonnes of shingle is being imported. A new boardwalk is also being installed to help improve access to the beach from the car park.
At West Beach there will be a new 45 metre rock groyne coming off the main pier and another groyne will be extended by 23 metres, which means more of the beach material here will be retained, rather than being moved along the coast by longshore drift and storms. More beach material in front of the sea wall promenade means that this will help to reduce wave over topping during storms, as well as providing a better and safer beach for people to use and swim from. There will also be a set back flood wall behind the promenade road to protect the properties behind it.
All this work, involving 40,000 tonnes or rock and 10,000 tonnes of shingle from Scotland, is vital work to improve and protect West Bay. It’s a hub of activity with all the bulldozers and machinery at work over the next few weeks. All works are expected to be complete with beaches fully open again from 5th July 2019 and the boardwalk on East Beach will be installed in September. There is further work going on in the centre of West Bay with an enhanced seating and community space / welcome hub outside the George Inn and improved cycle access on the existing bridleway between West Bay and Bridport.
If you are interested in seeing the work that is going on during a visit to Dorset, we have holidays and short breaks available at Highlands End Holiday Park, which is situated on the clifftop overlooking West Bay. It is just a 10-15 minute walk along the coast path to West Bay and the town, businesses and car parks are open as usual. There are other beaches close to the park that are also open, including Eype Beach (welcomes dogs all year round) and Hive Beach at Burton Bradstock.