A SECTION of Swanage Recreation Ground has been cordoned off as part of a ‘vital’ £2million seafront scheme to combat landslips in the Victorian town.
Engineers have fenced off the area surrounding the war memorial ahead of starting work to pin back the soil to prevent land slippage onto Shore Road below.
The Swanage Town Council funded project, set to be completed by June, also includes the construction of two-tiers of beach huts, new public toilets and a permanent kiosk on the corner of Shore Road and Victoria Avenue.
Swanage Mayor Cllr Ali Patrick said: “This work is vital to protect Swanage seafront from the effects of landslips, ensuring that it remains a key attraction to visitors to the town.
“Although the stabilisation work is expensive, it has provided the opportunity to breathe new life into the area whilst still retaining the traditional seaside character of Swanage.”
An additional £300,000 project will also be undertaken to stabilise the land on the Downs, in a bid to hold back the encroachment of soil onto Broad Road Car Park, where the number of spaces has shrunk in recent years as the land slips there have worsened.
In December 2012, a significant area of Swanage Beach, near Burlington Chine, was closed after a landslide in the sandstone and clay cliffs behind.
This latest £2m project is being principally funded, says Swanage Town Council, from the proceeds from the leasehold disposal of Swanage Bay View Holiday Park in 2009.
The town council was unable to secure grant funding from central government because the work could not be classified as coastal protection. Cllr Patrick said: “The income that the town council receives from the additional beach huts and new kiosk will help fund the facilities that the town council provides, including the Tourist Information Centre, public conveniences, parks, gardens and children’s play areas.”
Wareham-based Morgan Carey Architects have designed the new buildings.
The new beach huts should be available to hire from early July.
Anyone interested in hiring a hut should contact the Tourist Information Centre for a booking form.
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