CHRISTCHURCH council's application to raise part of Avon Beach promenade by nearly a metre has been submitted.

The borough approved the scheme back in February, but must win backing from its own planning committee before work can begin.

The £120,000 scheme will "raise the middle section of Avon Beach Promenade by 900mm over approximately 250m" in a bid to reduce coastal erosion and the risk of flooding. The raised section will link with adjoining sea defences and incorporate a wider promenade and two bench seating areas for beachgoers.

Also, beach huts will be relocated to a higher position, and the beach will be graded.

Lindsay Cass, council head of property and engineering, said: "If approved, this scheme will provide better protection of our coastline against predicted future sea level rises and improve the appearance of Avon Beach promenade.

"Through our work with the Dorset Coast Forum residents have helped shape the design of the proposal and we are pleased with how engaged people have been."

Since December a temporary barrier has been in place along the beach, consisting of 60 concrete blocks weighing 2.5 tonnes each. In May, the council announced it would use the opportunity of beach replenishment works to bury the blocks in sand, and they are to be incorporated into the new defences.

According to the application, the council plans to begin construction in late October, with the project completed by Christmas. The whole section of the promenade will be fenced off during this time.

The design statement says: "A new retaining wall must resist external forces from possible wave attack and any weight of beach material placed against it. It should also cope with forces being exerted against the inside face of the structure.

"The retaining wall will be constructed of interlocking rectangular pre-cast concrete highway barriers each 3,000mm long by 800mm high and 450mm wide."

The existing promenade was build specifically as a coastal defence during the 1940s, but has had beach huts in place since the 1950s, set up for summer hire by the Avon Beach Company.