CONCRETE blocks at Avon Beach will be buried under the sand next month following complaints from residents.

The 60 interlocking blocks were installed as temporary flood defences in November last year, and will form part of the borough council’s permanent promenade improvement works due to be carried out in the autumn, if planning permission is granted.

Christchurch and East Dorset councils said it had received “concerns raised” by residents struggling to access the beach, so the 2.5 tonne blocks are now to be buried under the sand when scheduled beach replenishment takes place next month.

Lindsay Cass, council head of property and engineering, said: “The work to install temporary flood defences over the winter months ensured that potential for damage to the promenade and beach huts along Avon Beach was minimised, as well as formed part of our work to strengthen our coastal defences.

“Subject to planning permission we are looking to raise and widen the promenade in the autumn so that it is level along this section of the beach.

“We have acknowledged the concerns of residents and will be moving the blocks during the summer months to ensure access to the beach is easily maintained.

“This work will be carried out as part of our standard beach replenishment programme.”

The buried blocks will still act as an effective flood defence in the event of a summer storm, the council says.

Originally the council intended for the blocks to remain in place on the promenade itself all through the summer.

The work is due to take place in June and last around three weeks.

Christchurch council approved the £120,000 promenade improvement work back in February.

It will see a low-lying 200m long section of the promenade raised by nearly a metre, bringing it in line with other parts of the promenade and improving the area’s sea defences to protect against predicted sea level rises.

The council has been working with the owners of the Noisy Lobster restaurant over solutions to improve the coastal defences following the devastating storm on Valentine’s Day 2014.

The storm shattered beach huts, leaving 50 out of 120 needing to be replaced.

Volunteers had to clear away two food of sand and debris from the promenade to gain access to the beach.