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14 November 2013, 11:18
A five-year plan to protect 3,114 residential and 109 commercial properties at risk from coastal erosion in Bournemouth has been agreed by the Borough Council.
Bournemouth Borough Council is the coastal erosion risk management authority for its coastline. This gives it powers and duties to carry out coast protection works.
Planning for management of coastal erosion looks 100 years into the future, but funding for plans is granted in five year segments.
Bournemouth has been built on a coastline which is eroding at a rate of 1m per year, and has been managed in the past with seawalls, groynes and beach replenishment.
The conclusions of the Poole and Christchurch Bays Shoreline Management Plan, adopted in 2010, was that much of the Bournemouth coastline would continue to be protected so that the current shoreline is maintained in the same place.
This is particularly important for Bournemouth as this not only offers current levels of protection to property but also to the beach which is vital to the town's economy.
The funding for the proposed plan which will continue to use current management methods comes largely from the Environment Agency, with approximately 18% from Bournemouth Borough Council.
This means that Bournemouth Borough Council will need to allocate £1.925million towards the cost of the programme over the next five years.
Mike Holmes, Service Director for Planning, Transport and Regulation said,
"Many of our groynes are reaching the end of their useful life and so need to be replaced. Without this programme of work, coastal erosion will progressively remove the beach, destroy the seawall and groynes and restart cliff erosion leading to the destruction of coastal properties over the next 100 years. The consequences would be catastrophic for Bournemouth. This proposed programme of work is essential to ensure the future prosperity of Bournemouth."
The work programme will begin in October 2014.