EIGHT sections of Bournemouth and Poole beach will be topped-up with sand from January next year in a £7.5 million project to ensure the seafront remains able to withstand extreme storm events.

The management of the coast, in combination with the seawall to protect the cliff top from erosion, is required to maintain a suitable beach profile, the council said.

The Poole Bay Beach Management Scheme achieves this by 're-nourishing' beaches with material dredged from an offshore licensed area.

Strict requirements ensure the dredged sand must closely match that of the native beach.

Councillor Mark Anderson, BCP Council cabinet portfolio holder for environment, cleansing and waste, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this significant investment from the Environment Agency earlier in the year for these essential works in Poole Bay.

"Without it, properties, highways and supporting infrastructure would be lost to coastal erosion.

"As part of our commitment to a sustainable environment, it’s important that we protect and enhance our outstanding natural environment for future generations to enjoy, which is why these works in Poole Bay are so important now.”

The multi-million project, which is being carried out by Boskalis Westminster Ltd, will see a pipeline used to pump around 350,000 cubic metres of sand ashore before it is distributed by bulldozers.

The locations requiring a top-up include Solent Path to St Catherine’s Path, Gordon’s Corner to Fisherman’s Walk, Portman Ravine zig-zag, Boscombe Pier, East Cliff, West Cliff to Middle Chine and either side of Shore Road in Poole.

Work to renew four timber groynes is also under way this winter from the Poole/Bournemouth boundary to Middle Chine, carried out by contractors Suttle Projects Ltd.

As the works are carried out, areas of the beach will be closed for safety reasons, but access along the promenade will be maintained to allow residents and visitors to pass by safely. Alumhurst Road car park will remain open.

Dates for the work to be carried out in the specific areas will be released nearer the time.

It is anticipated all works will be completed by spring 2021, subject to weather conditions, tides and working arrangements based on latest Covid-19 guidance. More information on this scheme will be added to the Poole Bay website.