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  1. ITV Report

Thousands of tonnes of rocks being moved to West Bay in Dorset

The famous beach, which appeared in the ITV drama Broadchurch, is closed until mid-July. Photo: ITV News

Work has started to move thousands of tonnes of rock and shingle into place on West Bay beach in Dorset.

The famous beach, which appeared in the ITV drama Broadchurch, is closed until mid-July as a defence scheme is put in place.

The £10 million scheme is aiming to protect the area’s vulnerable coastline from strong seas.

According to the Dorset Council, 148 homes and 112 businesses along the ‘Jurassic Coast’ will be better protected from flooding as a result of the works.

West Bay has experienced several cliff collapses across the years. In March 2019, over 1,000 tonnes of rock fell and forced the closure of the bay. Credit: ITV News

Facts and figures:

  • 148 homes and 112 businesses will be better protected from flooding.
  • 40,000 tonnes of granite is being used.
  • the largest rocks used weigh 10 tonnes.
  • the defences are on a tight schedule to complete by start of July.
  • the work cannot be carried out in autumn or winter due to storms and rough seas.

Why are the works happening?

  • West Bay has experienced several cliff collapses across the years. In March 2019, over 1,000 tonnes of rock fell and forced the closure of the bay.
  • Waves have also previously gone over the sea wall at the West Beach, flooding roads and properties in the area.
  • Dorset Council hopes that the construction will provide critical support to the Dorset area by protecting local homes and businesses.
Dorset Council hopes that the construction will provide critical support to the Dorset area by protecting local homes and businesses. Credit: ITV News

Can I go to the beach?

  • The East and West Beach of West Bay have both been closed for the duration of the works but will reopen in time for the school holidays on 12th July. However, this this is a delay on the initial deadline of the 5th July.
  • It is not yet clear whether the works will be fully completed by July or if they will recommence in September after the summer holidays.
  • Swimming around the West Bay is not advised during the works.