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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 2nd July 2019

Works are progressing ahead of schedule; East Beach fully re-opened on the 28 June and is expected to remain so from now on with no further closures expected

The contractor’s compound will remain at East Beach car park until week ending 26 July whilst the contractor completes work placing surplus rocks and shingle at West Beach. West Beach is expected to be open for 19th July, although this is weather dependent. The Esplanade (not the main West Beach) will be cleared for the weekend of July 5th for the power boat racing event.

No further late night working is planned to take place (general working times will be 07:00 to 18:00, 7 days a week), although there’s a small chance of some truck movements between the beaches outside peak hours before 11pm. As rain is now not on the forecast, a water pump will be used to remove the red dust on the new shingle to return the colour of the shingle as it was before on the beaches.

It is expected the only outstanding works to be to the stone facing and topping of the new flood wall along the Esplanade. This work will take place in early September after the summer break, with completion in October.

A final drop in session is planned at the Salt House for 11th July.

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
  • Thursday 11th July, 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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