£33 million funding released for Poole Bay Beach Management Scheme
BCP Council has received funding approval from the Environment Agency to progress the Poole Bay Beach Management Scheme. It is designed to provide protection to thousands of residential and commercial properties over the next 100 years. Without it, properties, highways and supporting infrastructure would be lost to coastal erosion.
The 10-year programme consists of cyclic beach replenishments to maintain a level to protect the coastal frontages of Poole and Bournemouth. This is will be complemented by ongoing groyne renewal to replace life-expired structures, which help retain the beach material and seawall defences.
Councillor Dr Felicity Rice, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Climate Change, BCP Council said: “We are delighted to receive the green-light to draw down the funds so work can begin on the next phases of the beach management scheme. This work is vital in the continued protection of our coastline to safeguard local communities into the future, especially because of the predicted rises in sea level from the climate crisis.”
The Poole Bay Beach Management Scheme is essential in contributing to a 300,000 national target for homes better protected from flooding and erosion. Funding approval is for all activities between 2021-2032, allowing for:
- Replacement of 23 timber groynes plus three new groynes, located along the seafront from Southbourne to Alum Chine.
- Provision of two beach replenishment operations across Poole and Bournemouth.
- The repair and upgrade of Hengistbury Head Long Groyne to ensure continued protection for Poole Bay and Christchurch Harbour.
BCP Cabinet approved the scheme for submission to the Environment Agency in October 2019, along with a capital contribution of £3.3 million. The Council’s contribution unlocked £33 million of combined government Flood Defence Grant in Aid (FDGiA) and Local Levy monies.
The scheme is anticipated to start this winter and will be delivered by the newly formed Dorset Coastal Engineering Partnership, a joint coastal engineering team between BCP Council and Dorset Council.