West Bay Flood Defense Work on the Way

The Environment Agency and West Dorset District Council have partnered up to work on new multi-million pound sea defenses at West Bay, Bridport, West Dorset.

West Dorset District Council Planning Committee last month unanimously approved the proposal to install new sea defenses at East Beach and West Beach.

The beach defenses protect 148 residential properties, 112 commercial properties and caravans at Parkdean Holiday Park. Waves over-topping the Esplanade at West Beach caused significant flooding of properties and utilities in 2014.

Each winter, stormy seas damage East Beach. To address this, a more robust defense against flooding and risk of breaching is needed, Dorset County Council said.

Project timeline

  • West Beach – building of a new, low wall at the back of the Esplanade: February – June 2019;
  • East Beach – installation of a buried solid rock core: April – June 2019;
  • West Beach – construction of a new rock groyne: April – June 2019;
  • West Beach – importing extra beach shingle: May – June 2019;
  • Improvements to the River Brit bank along Parkdean Holiday Park have been designed and are included in the planning submission. It is hoped these improvements will go ahead later, once funding has been agreed between the council and its tenant. These will then take place over the winter period November 2019 – February 2020.

According to an official announcement, £5m of the funding is being provided by central government under the DEFRA Flood Defence Grant-in-Aid. WDDC is providing £3m and £1m has been granted from Local Levy by the Wessex Regional Flood Defense Committee.