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5 November 2014, 08:41 | Updated: 5 November 2014, 12:28
40,000 cubic metres of sand is going to be pumped onto a beach in Poole to protect it from storm damage.
During last year's winter storms, Shore Road beach suffered a significant loss of sand along the frontage. Borough of Poole Council says approximately 10 years worth of erosion occurred in just a couple of months, now requiring the sand to be replenished.
Government funding totalling £700,000 has been secured to carry out the repairs. Works will start mid-November and will continue 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a period of 2 weeks, although contractors, Rohde Nielsen, are likely to be on site for between 4-5 weeks. The first 2 weeks will involve building the pipeline on the beach. The dredger will pump the sand onto the beach, 350m either side of Shore Road, for the next 2 weeks and the final week will involve removing the pipeline and clearing the site.
The sand will be supplied by Poole Harbour Commissioners from the maintenance dredging of the Swash Channel. With each load the dredger will move to a position off the beach at Shore Road, connect to a pipeline and pump the sand ashore. The sand will then be moved around and levelled by bulldozers.
Councillor Xena Dion, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Flood and Coastal Management, Borough of Poole, said:
"The winter storms of last year demonstrated how important coastal protection is for our properties and infrastructure in Poole. Considering the strength of the storms our system of flood defences worked very well but they need to be replenished.
"Working in partnership with the Environment Agency and Poole Harbour Commissioners, we have created an efficient process that recycles the same sand that is already on our award-winning beaches. Building the beaches back up to their previous levels will help ensure the beaches are ready to provide protection from future winter storms.
"The 24-hour operation may cause some noise disturbance, but every effort will be made to ensure this is kept to a minimum during the night time."
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 being 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 and the availability of the dredger. Exact dates will be available on the council's coast protection website www.poolebay.net.
During the winter 2005/06, as part of a much larger beach re-nourishment scheme, the whole Poole frontage from Sandbanks to the borough boundary with Bournemouth had a pipeline pumping sand onto the beach. To repair the damaged beach from last winter's storms a similar pipe will be laid from Shore Road towards Sandbanks and Flaghead Chine.