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An independent strategic coastal partnership

Dorset Harbours Strategy

The Dorset Council Harbours Committee are developing a Dorset Council Harbours Strategy to provide direction as to how Weymouth(External link)West Bay(External link) and Lyme Regis (External link)Harbours will develop over the next 10 years.

Following the formation of Dorset Council through a Local Government Reorganisation in 2019, Dorset Council became the Statutory Harbour Authority for the three harbours. Dorset Council Harbours Committee is responsible for exercising functions as the harbour authority. The strategy will be owned by Dorset Council and is implemented by Dorset Council Harbours Committee. Dorset Coast Forum have been commissioned to help develop the strategy.

Why do we need a Dorset Harbours Strategy?

This strategy is to ensure that all three harbours have a clear direction and are aligned under the management of Dorset Council while recognising their unique qualities and local communities.

What as happened so far?

As part of the development of this strategy Dorset Coast Forum, was appointed to carry out a range of consultation and engagement including:

  • a desk-based research exercise,
  • interviews with harbour staff,
  • workshops for key stakeholders and the public, and a
  • public survey.

These public events took place from September to October 2020 with further consultation with key stakeholders on the Vision, Aims and Strategic Goals in March 2021. A summary of the consultation feedback is found in the Dorset Harbours Strategy Consultation Report which is available HERE.

Initial consultation was based on key areas of investigation for each of the three harbours:

  • What is working well at each harbour?
  • What is not working very well at each harbour?
  • Potential ideas for development or opportunities.

The Dorset Council Harbours Committee appointed a working group to help guide the development of the strategy, using the feedback from these consultations. The working group have been meeting to develop a draft strategy.

What happens next?

We are currently asking for feedback on the draft strategy from the Dorset Council Harbours Committee and the Harbour Consultative Groups. Once this feedback has been incorporated, the draft strategy will go the Dorset Council Harbours Committee in September for approval for a wider public consultation.

We aim for the public consultation to launch in Autumn 2021 with the final strategy scheduled to be submitted to the December Dorset Council Harbours Committee for approval.

The Dorset Council Harbours Committee will then use the strategy to help guide the development of the harbours and inform decision making.

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