ENGINEERS will start work on a £2.5million project to shore up seafront cliffs next month. (September)

The scheme, which will involve using soil nails – up to 15 metres in length – is taking place on the cliff face at Canford Cliffs in Poole.

Preparations are already underway following BCP Council's appointment of specialised contractor CAN Geotechnical, who say the project is likely to take up to nine months.

Officials quickly moved to seal off a section of cliff, and beach huts below, in 2017 following a landslip.

Since then engineers have monitored movement in the cliffs.

When the work starts, in September, Cliff Drive will be partially closed, with vehicular access maintained for residents, contractors and emergency services only. Pedestrian access will be maintained although the zig zag path from Cliff Drive to the beach will be temporarily closed.

BCP Council leader Vikki Slade said: "By making this investment, we can safeguard the future of our seafront and continue with our plans to improve and upgrade the visitor facilities at Canford Cliffs beach, such as converting the pavilion into a new café and public toilets."

In February 2017 a section of cliff eroded and slipped, coming to rest halfway down the cliff face.

Concerns were raised the eroded section could continue moving downwards, particularly because of the heavy rain that was forecast during that time.

Some beach hut owners questioned the wisdom of removing trees from the cliffs earlier, which they said would have helped stabilise the cliff face.

Residential homes on Cliff Drive are also situated quite close the edge of the cliffs.

Prior to 2017 there had been three significant landslips in the area.

The first two happened in the 1970s and one of these left a block of beach huts demolished - a block which was only reinstated in 2014.

The third significant landslide took place in 1993.

Explaining the partial closure of Cliff Drive during the latest works, a BCP Council spokesman said: "This will help ensure public and contractor safety and protect the special designation afforded to this area, a site of nature conservation interest.

"Additionally, to ensure we can bring the required equipment and machinery to site and store it, there will be a temporary removal of the three-tonne weight restriction and closure of the zig-zag path to the beach.

"Canford Cliffs beach hut tenants will be advised separately about accessing and using their huts."