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An independent strategic coastal partnership

West Bay Coastal Defence Improvements

Following the storms in 2014, which flooded several areas of West Bay, the Environment Agency and Dorset Council have identified this popular coastal town as an area which requires improvements to its coastal defences.

Progress update – 7th June 2019

The final rock delivery was made on the 21st May, the ship and barge have now left.

East Beach – East Beach will be fully closed to public access from 3rd June to 17th June 2019, to allow the rock revetment to tie into the cliff. A coastal path diversion has been put into place which you can see the details of here. TWorks continue on construction of the Rock Armour Revetment. Currently 80 % of the revetment has already been constructed. Construction of the Rock Revetment at the Cliff tie in was delayed slightly this week due to uncovering 2 number Wessex Water Manhole chambers on the beach. These have now been removed and works are progressing on completing this tie in to enable the beach to be re-opened. These works will be 12 hours a day 7 days a week (generally from 6am to 6pm). All works will stop by 12th July, if not complete then the works will recommence on 2nd September. The concrete and masonry block flagpole base that was found has now been removed.

Esplanade – Works are currently taking place between 7.30am and 6pm Monday to Friday to construct the set back wall. Works will stop on the 12th July for the school summer holidays and if necessary will restart on 2nd September to complete the masonry cladding.

West Beach – Construction of the rock armour groyne started on 21st May. Works continue on construction of the Rock Armour Groyne. Due to approx. 50% of the Groyne being submerged, works are being carried out during Low tides. Currently constructing the “core” section of the Groyne. These works will be 24 hours a day 7 days a week, working at each low tide, therefore the times will vary each day. All works will stop on the 12th July for the school summer holidays and if necessary will restart on 2nd September to completion.

Working times 1st – 8th June

East Beach – Generally 0600 to 1800, 7 days a week. However, there may be occasions when these hours may need to be extended. No works on East Beach this weekend, to allow time for plant repairs.

West BeachTidal working, times vary, 2 hours before and 4 hours after Low Tide, 24hrs/day, 7 days a week.

When will the works be happening?


All works are scheduled to be completed by the 5th July with all accesses fully open over the summer holiday.  Unforeseen weather/sea conditions may cause delays in which case it will be necessary for the contractor to complete any outstanding works after the summer season in September before the start of the autumn/winter storm period.

There is a live webcam at West Bay which you can view here, you may be able to see the works happening!

Advice to swimmers and other water users

Both East Beach and West Beach are dangerous places to swim due to the exposed nature of these locations, the beach steepness and the localised currents and risks associated with the harbour and beack cotrol rock structures. There may be some localised changes to swimming conditions following the works which are currently under construction. The RNLI advises water users to always swim at a lifeguarded beach. This year RNLI lifeguards will be operational at East Beach, and able to give further advice, from Saturday 6th July through to Sunday 8th September, 10am to 6pm, 7 days a week.

How do I find out more?

Drop in sessions will be held at The Salt House while the works are taking place, where the contractors will be available to answer any queries:

  • Thursday 13th June, 1.30pm – 4.30pm
  • Thursday 27th June, 1.30pm – 4.30pm

Queries, requests and comments may also be sent to

For media enquiries, please call 0800 917 9271 or contact

The contractor, BMMJV, will keep the site noticeboards up to date. This can be found at the site compounds of East Beach and West Beach.

Statement from the Environment Agency – West Bay Coastal Improvements Scheme


Previous Meetings

The Dorset Coast Forum have worked closely with the Environment Agency to involve the community in consultations related to the coastal defence works. Work has been carried out with the local community to look at new improvements to the coastal defences to help prevent flooding in three key areas – east beach, west beach and parkdean embankment.  This has allowed the community to give their opinions and comments, which the Environment Agency have listened to and acted upon where possible during the planning stages.

The first step was a consultation event which was held on the 18 March 2016 to make West Bay and Bothenhampton communities aware of the issue, understand the risks and give comments about future possible options. The project team then set to work on considering feasible options for the area with the input of the comments from the event. The documents below detail the FAQs and responses to the questions and comments given at this consultation event.

 Frequently Asked Questions – March 2016

 Responses to March 2016 Public Consultation Questions

This was followed by a consultation event on the 20 October 2016 to look at the different options and get feedback from the community on the most and least preferred options. Below is the presentation of the options given at this event.

West Bay Coastal Defence Presentation – 20th October 2016

On the 23 March 2017 an all day drop in event was held for the community to view the proposed schemes and talk to staff.

On the 19th July 2018 another drop in event took place to allow the community to view how the proposed schemes have progressed and to talk to staff. The response to comments from this consultation can be found in the document below.

Responses to July 2018 Public Consultation Comments

A drop in event was held on Wednesday 13th February 2019 for the community to find out more about the planned coastal defence works for the engineers and project managers. 


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