THE company that built the Boscombe Surf Reef is due to return in two weeks a councillor has said.

Phil Stanley-Watts said ASR is “hopefully” coming back to carry out an initial assessment before starting remedial work in the middle of May.

New Zealand-based ASR is returning after an independent expert found the £3million reef was only meeting only four out of 11 performance targets.

Cllr Stanley-Watts said he got the dates after speaking to the council’s executive director for environment and economy, Tony Williams.

He said: “The council and ASR are in good relations. The reef gives Bournemouth a lot of good publicity – a lot of business has grown up on the back of it.”

Mr Williams told the Daily Echo: “We are in regular discussion with ASR and have had several telephone conversations with them with a view to them returning as soon as possible so that the necessary exploratory work can be done.

“ASR remain very committed to the project.”

Bournemouth council is holding onto a final £150,000 retainer until ASR begins the remedial work.

It will pay ASR £55,000 on completion of “all necessary work” with the remaining £95,000 paid if the work is a success.

The council closed the reef at the end of last month after an assessment found some of the sandbags had shifted and created potential safety problems. It is not yet clear who will pay for any extra safety work that might be needed, although the council is optimistic that it could be fitted in with the remedial work.

Tony Williams said: “The council needs to undertake further investigatory work.

“Until that is done we cannot say for certain what has been responsible and how we take this forward.”

The contract says: “The Defects Date is 52 weeks after the competition of the whole of the works. The reef opened in November 2009.

“The defect correction period is two weeks for defects affecting safety of the public and six weeks for all the other defects.”

An ASR spokesman said: “We currently plan to start the beginning stage of refinement work this spring/summer.”