CONTRACTOR ASR has started work to fix the Boscombe Surf Reef.

The firm has started anchoring new bags in place and will fill them up with sand next week, said a council spokesman.

ASR is replacing a 70-metre long bag that completely deflated and also laying new bags to get the waves performing as designed.

The surf reef has been out of action since the damaged bag was discovered in March and a Plymouth University expert had judged it was only meeting 4 out of 11 performance criteria.

A council spokesman said: “ASR started their works earlier this month and since then they have carried out preparatory maintenance work required before laying the new containers.

“The new containers are being placed and anchored this week, weather dependent, and should be filled during the following week.”

Some councillors are concerned work may not be completed before the weather gets too bad to carry on. Both the council and ASR had previously said they would start work in the ‘Spring/Summer’.

ASR said it did not mobilise until the council finalised payment.

A council spokesman said yesterday: “Following the damage to the reef caused by the boat strike, which was only discovered in March, alternative plans were subsequently prioritised, with the main focus being on repairing and replacing the damaged and lost bag.

“These repair works along with some limited refinement of the reef started on August 15.”

They added: “Completion of repairs and refinement requires very specific tidal conditions, sea state and visibility.

“This time of year offers some of the most probable conditions to allow work to progress and we are satisfied that works are being undertaken by ASR at every suitable opportunity.”