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An independent strategic coastal partnership

Lyme Regis Cobb Stabilisation Scheme

Lyme Regis Cobb Stabilisation Scheme

Lyme Regis Cobb Stabilisation Scheme

Phase V of the wider Lyme Regis Environmental Improvement Scheme aims to reinforce and repair the Cobb, a historic harbour which also acts as a breakwater and protects the Lyme Bay area from coastal erosion and flooding.

Sea-floor erosion, combined with the movement of stone blocks due to wave impact on the outer harbour wall and the deterioration of the structure on the inner harbour wall, has caused significant destabilisation of the structure in recent years.

It is predicted that, without intervention, the functionality of the Cobb as a breakwater would end in 2044. This could potentially result in the loss of the harbour, with over 100 residential and non-residential properties at risk of flooding and coastal erosion.

Left Image: Outer Cobb wall

Right Image: Example of storm damage where mortar has been blown out by wave pressure

Proposed plans

It is being proposed to strengthen and stabilise the structure to secure the Cobb’s long-term future. This may include construction of a low-level concrete toe foundation strengthening wall along with tension piles to anchor the inner harbour walls.

Design options on concrete toe walls and/or rock armour (rock armour for the outer harbour wall) are being extensively reviewed by the project team and wider statutory authorities, including Historic England, Marine Management Organisation, and the Environment Agency.

The project team is currently looking at feasible options, with the goal of choosing a design that can be presented to stakeholders and the public for feedback. Once the choice of design has been finalised, the project team will draw up a timeline for completion and be able to comment further on the works.

Grade 1 listed Cobb heritage preservation

The project team are working closely with heritage and conservation organisations including Historic England & Dorset Council’s Conservation team to maintain the historical integrity of the Cobb. This will ensure plans, which will require listed building consent, are sensitive to the inherent historical and cultural quality of the harbour.

Environmental considerations

The project team are working closely with environmental organisations including the Environment Agency, the Marine Management Organisation & Natural England to ensure that the project protects existing habitats (as far as reasonably practical) and has a positive impact on biodiversity gain.


Dorset Coast Forum (DCF) will lead on the wider public, community and commercial engagement; ensuring that key user groups are consulted to mitigate any adverse impacts. Two events have been held already with the commercial users of the Cobb, and wider community-level events and activities will take place in due course with updates on this webpage. These may include public consultation meetings and/or pop-up events on the Cobb, including a heritage walk.

News Article – Cobb high wall in Lyme Regis closed due to storm damage (Source: Lymeonline 14 April 2023)

Contact details

James Mitchell

Dorset Coast Forum Project Officer

07901 257392

Web: @dorsetcoastforum | Linktree

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