Plan To Fix Boscombe Surf Reef

Looks like some changes are going to be made to the artificial surf reef in Boscombe to try and get it working properly.

There have been complaints that it doesn't create big enough waves, so now a task group's decided extra bags should be added to the base of it to try and fix the problem.

Three pillow bags would also be added.  This will create a more gentle slope on the reef, and a better managed wave.  The effect of this would be the ride length being extended instead of the wave collapsing, as often happens based on past performance.

Bournemouth council will consider the idea in a special meeting of the Economy and Tourism Overview and Scrutiny Panel next week (Tuesday 2nd November, 6pm).

Cllr Ben Grower, Chairman of the Task & Finish Group said,

"This has been a detailed and in-depth series of meetings, involving members, industry experts, ASR and surfers, and I am grateful to all those who have helped inform our discussions.  Given the technical and performance parameters involved, the innovation in design required and technical complexity, whilst we are accepting the proposal is the best available solution to enhance performance, it's important to recognise that there can be no guarantees that it will fully achieve all performance criteria.

We are not completely convinced that this will be the case and it is for this reason that the Members are not recommending that further funds should be released at this stage."

The cost of rectifying the reef will be £155,000.  The Overview & Scrutiny Panel will hear that there are two funding options available to it to recommend to Cabinet. 

The Task & Finish Group is suggesting that the Council should not release any of the £150,000 funds allocated to the reef as a retention payment, until the reef is performing to the agreed standards. 

The report advises the Panel that this position has already been rejected by ASR, who are keen to reach agreement on release of part of the retention monies towards the refinement works. 

The Panel will need to consider whether release of part of the retention payment at this stage represents the best return on the £3.03million investment already made by the Council, as it gives the greatest likelihood of performance success for this project, with refinement works taking place next summer.

Cllr Bob Chapman, Chairman of the Overview & Scrutiny Panel said,

"Members will need to consider the views of the Task and Finish Group, as well as opinions of officers and surfers, and decide whether we agree that the technical solution represents the best way forward and also whether we think it is in the Council's interests to release part of the retention payment at this time in order to facilitate the required improvements to the reef."