New 100-year strategy to help protect Christchurch Bay and harbour

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strategy christchurch harbour
The strategy will assess management of erosion and risks

A NEW strategy is being produced to help protect Christchurch Bay and harbour from the elements for the next 100 years.

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It will assess how to manage coastal erosion and associated risks, and take into account the effects of climate change, such as sea level rise and increased storms, from the east of Hengistbury Head to Chewton Bunny.

BCP Council has already agreed to submit a business case to the Environment Agency to apply for government flood defence funding of £450,000 to produce the strategy.

It will be led by the council’s flood and coastal erosion risk management service, supported by specialist consultants and ultimately lead to an adopted Environment Agency-approved strategy. Using that, business cases for scheme delivery can be developed.

The future schemes will help lessen the risk of flooding or erosion to residents and businesses in the Christchurch Bay and harbour areas.

Cllr Mark Anderson, BCP Council cabinet member for environment, cleansing and waste, said: “It will provide the foundation to enable us to make bids for government funding to carry out similar works including harbour defences, to address flood risk as a result of sea level rise.

“As our Christchurch frontages do not yet have a strategy in place, there has been no historic investment from central government. Regular beach recycling exercises have primarily been funded from council budgets.

“However, in the longer term we aim to ensure that any capital coastal defence works will be assessed for funding via [flood defence grants] but will continue to use council funds in the interim.”

BCP Council has already appointed contractors to undertake beach recycling on Mudeford Sandbank and Avon Beach to Highcliffe in Spring 2021, as well as repairs to rock groynes, fixing groyne beacon posts and providing additional rock armour to protect Steamer Point path.

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