PLANS for the next phase of a multi-million pound coastal defences project have been outlined in an environmental impact assessment.

The ongoing scheme aimed at staving off erosion of Poole Bay started in 2015 when the £43 million scheme was backed.

It warns that more 6,000 buildings could be at risk without the project.

BCP Council has now put forward an environmental impact assessment ahead of the start of the second phase of works, which are due to begin next year.

Stretching from Christchurch Harbour to Poole Harbour the project is due to continue until 2032.

The first phase of works began in October 2015 and since then groynes have been replaced and beaches replenished with sand.

Phase two would see this continued alongside the repair of the Hengistbury Head Long Groyne.

On Thursday (June 6) the council submitted a report outlining the potential environmental impact of the scheme.

Written by WSP UK on its behalf, the report says: “The coastal defence works require active management and renewal to continually protect approximately 6,412 residential and commercial properties.

“The works involve the replacement of all life-expired beach groynes and periodic beach renourishment to maintain the beach at a level which is effective, sustainable and economic.”

Sand for the replenishment of the beach has been taken from a site off the south coast of the Isle of Wight and the report proposes that this continues.

Every five years 355,000m³ of material is added to the beach.

Groynes will also be replaced, many of which, the report says, are reaching the end of their “serviceable life”.

The most noticeable project would be repairs to the Hengistbury Head Long Groyne which was built in 1938.

The report says it performs a “critical function” in preventing sediment from flowing into Christchurch but that voids have formed under its concrete core which require repairs.

Work could start in October 2020.

The report says: “The proposed works require an upgrade of the structure to accommodate sea level rise and replacement of the undersized armour stone which is dissolving and rapidly wearing away.”

BCP Council will consider the report in the coming weeks.