THE deadline for ASR to fix the Boscombe Surf Reef is just six weeks away and no return agreement has yet been reached.

The firm has to repair and adjust the damaged reef by May 31 and negotiations with Bournemouth Council have been ongoing for months.

However Bournemouth Council could not this week confirm any deal had been reached and only said: “ASR remain aware of the required deadlines.”

The Daily Echo asked the council what action would be taken if the deadline is not met and the council replied: “Should that occur, we will proactively be advising our residents of our next course of action.”

The reef was closed last year after two of the top layer bags were damaged beyond repair, although new aerial photos show a gap wider than two bags.

The council has submitted insurance claims for the two bags on the basis they were damaged by a boat though some councillors have concerns about the stability of the reef.

A 2000 report into the reef proposals, which was carried out by maritime consultants HR Wallingford, advised caution over the use of geotextile bags.

The report said that a 1998 scientific study suggests: “The resistance of the bags to puncturing and abrasion is low and the effects of UV radiation on the material unknown.”

A council diving inspection carried out in 2011 raised concerns that some of the bag seams might have failed.

A Bournemouth Borough Council spokesman said: “Technology has moved on considerably since 2000, and any report regarding possible materials for the reef being considered then would not be relevant to the construction materials eventually used.

“The current insurance claims are for damage to two bags caused through being hit by propeller strike or strikes by a boat or boats and the material used is not a factor in the evidence presented in pursuit of this claim.”

‘It’s actually pretty good’

Surfers are still using the damaged reef even though it has been closed for safety reasons.

They posted comments on the Echo’s website below our story on the latest photos of the damaged reef.

One wrote: “I have also surfed the reef recently and I agree, the waves are there on occasion, and pretty good ones at that too, especially when at the same time it’s blown out elsewhere locally. A lot of local surfers agree on this.”

Another wrote: “I surfed the “disastrous” reef last night actually, it was pretty good, a lot better than the beachbreaks which were being blown flat.

“Really don’t know what all the fuss is about the reef – when it works it’s a great wave for those with the skill to ride it.”