Home Online Work Lyme Regis harbour dredging work delayed until late April

Lyme Regis harbour dredging work delayed until late April

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harbour dredging
Dredging work at Lyme Regis beach in 2021

HARBOUR dredging at West Bay and Lyme Regis will be delayed again this year – not starting until the end of April and continuing into May.

The late start has led to complaints in previous years around the impact on holiday businesses.

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This Wednesday’s Harbours Committee heard that there has been problems in obtaining licences for the work from the marine agency and in talks with Natural England which had raised concerns about some aspects of the work at West Bay.

The delay in obtaining the necessary permissions will mean that beach replenishment work at Lyme Regis, another previous cause of complaint, will now take place at the same time as the dredging operation.

In previous years delays in starting the dredging operation has led to the main Lyme Regis beach being out of use for a time in May and June.

In April 2021 when there were also delays Kathyrn Haskins, director of the Alexandra Hotel and Restaurant questioned why the council did not start planning the works earlier to avoid the times when visitors were in the town.

She said that in June 2020 the beach had sand being pumped onto it for weeks on end.

“This wasn’t an unprecedented occurrence as the year before this was done over the main May Bank holiday period causing the beach to be closed over the bank holiday in that year,” she said at the time.

“This has been brought up with your officers and their response is that they will try and avoid Bank Holidays when the beach profiling is undertaken but that it is sometimes unavoidable. But I would ask why is it unavoidable? Surely with forward planning this could be avoided?”

Portfolio holder Cllr Ray Bryan told a full council meeting in 2021, in response to criticism of the timing of the dredging operation: “Technical issues and weather conditions may disrupt schedules, but our intention is always to avoid holiday periods where possible.”

Wednesday’s Harbour Committee heard that to avoid the same problem in 2023 preparatory work had already started to ensure the dredging and beach replenishment were started earlier in the year.

In Weymouth plough dredging will take place around the harbour mouth in the week beginning April 4.

By Local Democracy Reporter Trevor Bevins

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