A NEW app is being developed by BCP Council in a bid to reduce crowding on parts of the area’s beaches.

Expected to launch in the coming weeks, BCP Beach Check will provide information on how busy particular sections of the seafront are, as well as information about where facilities are.

Council leader Vikki Slade said the development of the app was a “fantastic” response to some of the issues experienced in recent weeks.

Work to create it started in response to busy periods seen in May and June, which culminated in the council declaring a major incident last month. The major incident remains on standby.

The app will be made available for Apple and Android devices.

It has been developed as part of efforts to encourage visitors to use quieter sections and spread beach users along a greater stretch of the seafront.

Council chief executive, Graham Farrant, announced it at Monday’s meeting of the scrutiny board.

“The app will split the beach into 26 different sections and identify which of those are crowded and which ones aren’t,” he said.

Testing was carried out this weekend and Mr Farrant said he expected work to publicise its availability would take place “over the next few weeks”.

Cllr Slade was among those to have trialled the app and said she hoped it would be available "far sooner than that".

“There were about four or five of us using it over the weekend to make sure it works and it demonstrates one of the fantastic responses of the team,” she said.

“We said: ‘Look, we’ve got a problem here: we’re an incredibly busy resort, we want to be busy but we need to do better in how we manage it’.”

She said the app would provide information for visitors, including the location of public toilets and lifeguards and which areas dogs can use.

“I hope that some of the issues we’ve seen over the weeks around lack of information available for people will be eased by this app,” she added.

Cllr Slade added that there had already been “national interest” in the app due to its functions and the potential for it to be used in other parts of the country.