Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Swanage beach - sand from where, at what cost?

Where will the sand to replenish Swanage beach come from, and at what expense? It seems that there are plans to dredge Poole Harbour and dump 1,150,000 cubic metres of sand. I wonder if there are plans for Swanage to benefit. It would seem so easy for sand to be dumped in the tidal stream so that it ended up on Swanage beach. I have written to the contact provided to enquire further.....

This was published in the Echo on Monday 22 November 2004:

"Dredging is not likely to spur erosion"

AN environmental assessment has shown that dredging the main channel through Poole Harbour would have small effects on wave flow and erosion.

Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC) are seeking permission from the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to deepen the approach channels from 6 metres to 7.5 metres.

They wish also to widen the Middle Ship Channel to 100 metres.

This would mean sucking up 1,900,000 cubic metres of material ranging from gravel to silts and clays.

Beaches at Poole, Bournemouth and Purbeck would benefit by receiving 1,150,000 cubic metres of sand replenishment.

And the rest would be dumped at an existing dumping ground off Swanage.

Work would take seven months and they hope to start in October 2005.

After the deepening there would be an increase in wave energy through the harbour entrance and a 1-2cm increase in wave height south-east of Brownsea Island.

There would be an increase in sediment in some of the channels, a small increase in tidal erosion in the harbour and a small loss in saltmarsh. More sediment deposits during dredging is not thought to have a lasting effect on shellfish beds.

Copies of the full assessment are available from PHC and a non-technical summary is available.

Comments need to be made by January 14 to Peter Gill, Marine Consents and Environment Unit, Room 309, East-bury House, 30-34 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7TL.

First published: November 22

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