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Beach storm repairs extended along Poole seafront

Storm repairs to pump sand onto Shore Road beach to protect residential properties and infrastructure from coastal erosion, have now been extended along Poole’s seafront.
 
An additional £1.2 million of government funding has just been secured to extend the sand replenishment scheme towards the borough boundary with Bournemouth from Shore Road towards Branksome beach. The last large-scale sand replenishment happened in 2005/06 and the next scheme to build Poole’s beaches back up to their previous levels was scheduled to take place in 2016/17, but securing this funding enables it to happen now.

During last year's winter storms, Shore Road beach in particular suffered a significant loss of sand; approximately 10 years’ worth of erosion occurred in just a couple of months. DEFRA awarded Poole the £750,000 of funding to pump 40,000 cubic metres of ‘recycled’ sand onto the beach, which started over a week ago.

The sand pumping works were due to be completed by the end of November but this will now continue until Christmas. Poole Harbour Commissioners are supplying the sand from the routine maintenance dredging of the Swash Channel. This sand is recycled by being pumped back onto Poole’s beaches. With each load the dredger connects to a pipeline and pumps the sand ashore. The sand is then moved around and levelled by bulldozers. The 24-hour operation may cause some noise disturbance but every effort will be made to ensure this is kept to a minimum overnight.

Councillor Xena Dion, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Flood and Coastal Management, Borough of Poole, said: “We are delighted with the opportunity from DEFRA to bring forward our major beach replenishment scheme and add it to this current project to repair the damage from recent storms. By working with DEFRA and Poole Harbour Commissioners we estimate to save around £300,000, as we already have the dredger, pipeline and heavy plant in place.

“While small sections of the beach are closed where the sand is being pumped, the promenade remains open. We welcome people coming to watch this engineering project which is quite spectacular. We appreciate everyone's patience while the work is carried out, as it is vital to ensure the beach infrastructure and properties are protected for this winter and for many years to come.”

The promenade will remain open and access to the beach will be maintained where practicable, but it will be necessary to close short sections of the beach when the sand is being pumped ashore and moved by heavy machinery. Signage will be in place to inform people when this happens.

Initially the pumped sand may appear to be darker than that forming the current beach, but it will soon lighten to a normal colour, with exposure to oxygen and daylight. The works are all dependent on weather conditions.

More information and a project diary is available on the Council’s coast protection website www.poolebay.net and also on www.facebook.com/poolebeaches