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An independent strategic coastal partnership

West Bay Coastal Defence Improvements


Parkdean Riverbank Improvements

The final phase of the West Bay Coastal Defence Improvements Scheme is due to be carried out this winter 2020/21.  Fluvial improvement works to the River Brit riverbank will provide protection against the river overflowing and flooding the Parkdean Resorts West Bay Holiday Park and West Bay.

This work to improve the riverbank is a partnership between Dorset Council, the Environment Agency, Parkdean Resorts UK, Dorset Coast Forum and Jacobs Consultants and are planned to start on the 30th November 2020.

Over a period of 16 weeks, Dorset Council and its contractors will be driving in a sheet pile flood defence wall along the line of the existing bank. The riverbank will be re-profiled to improve its integrity, as well as installing scour protection for the riverbank where required. Access will also be improved for the Environment Agency and Dorset Council operations and maintenance teams to structures that need frequent monitoring and maintenance. Works are due to be completed by March 2021.

Dorset Coast Forum invited West Bay residents and businesses to meet with project engineers at informal drop-in engagement sessions during September 2020 to find out more about what type of improvements works are being done and how they will be carried out.

Parkdean Embankment Construction Works

Click on the images to view:


West Bay Coastal Defence Improvements 

Why does East Beach have a steep frontage?

The beach was returned to its usual shape after the completion of the defence scheme, however, beach profile levels at East Beach have been dropping slowly for most of 2020 and are now at some of the lowest levels recorded. This has reduced the width of the beach crest, creating a steep beach front in several places. This is likely to be a result of wind and wave conditions experienced so far this year; the Environment Agency are currently working with partners to investigate in more detail the cause of low beach levels across the southwest. 

Are there further works planned for East Beach?

Mechanical works at East Beach to reduce the steep front face of the beach were completed in March, July, and October 2020. These works had limited flood defence benefit and were only to improve access to the beach. The works in October enabled better access at several locations at either end of the beach, whilst retaining the flood defence steeper crest.

The EA will continue to monitor the beach, in anticipation that beach material will return to the lower foreshore. This could then be used to widen and regrade the beach crest, however there is little material currently available. The EA are also ready to respond to any incidents over the winter, including using machinery to re-profile and maintain the flood defence.

Please see links below for an update from the Environment Agency about the current situation at East Beach.

 East Beach Beach Profile Update – December 2020

Press Release: West Bay ready for winter and East Beach profile October 2020

Environment Agency East Beach Briefing September 2020

Coastal Defence works completed at East and West Beach October 2019

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

The West Bay community was consulted at various stages of the proposed coastal defence scheme during 2016-2019 and the improvements works on East and West Beach were carried out during the Summer 2019.

All sea defence works to help protect West Bay from flooding has been completed at both East Beach and West Beach.

On East Beach a large rock revetment made up of 20,000 tonnes of rock was buried along the line of the shingle ridge. This will reduce the frequency of flooding from storms.

On West Beach a new rock groyne was built near the pier, extra beach shingle was also imported. A flood wall has also been built along the Esplanade, which will also help reduce the risk of flooding.  Work on the wall was suspended during the school holiday season to minimise disruption, but ‘facing work’ was restarted last month.

During the works 40,000 tonnes of granite was used, as well as rocks as large as 10 tonnes.

See the plans below to find out more about the completed improvements works.

East Beach – Set back wall defence component

 East Beach – Buried rock core

 West Beach – New groyne, groyne repair & beach recharge

 West Beach – Strengthened wall & temporary barriers

 Parkdean

 Project timeframe

 East Beach Coastal Defence Works Maps

 West Beach Coastal Defence Works Maps


 Statement from the Environment Agency – West Bay Coastal Improvements Scheme

 Frequently Asked Questions – March 2016

Responses to March 2016 Public Consultation Questions

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.

Responses to July 2018 Public Consultation Comments

  • A community drop in event was held on Wednesday 13th February 2019 to talk to project managers, engineers and contractors about the work taking place over the summer.

How do I find out more?

Please contact Dorset Coast Forum on or call 01305 224833.

Coastsnap West Bay – you can get involved with coastal monitoring in West Bay. Find out more HERE.

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