SMP-wide Beach Management Study


A 2-year study to identify an appropriate source of beach replenishment material, and potential best practise method of placing and managing it, for projects along the coastline between Swanage and Hurst Spit.


BCP Council



December 2016


7th December 2016

SMP2 map showing Policy Development Zones (PDZs)

Project Overview

The 2010 Poole and Christchurch Bays Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) process designated a policy of “Hold the Line” at a number of beach sites from Swanage to Hurst Spit. These beaches are all subject to erosion so the strategic implementation of the policy has been identified in some cases as beach replenishment with coast protection structures. Some of these sites have been replenished in the past and will need further replenishment in the future as the erosion process continues.

Over the years that management of these beaches has taken place, the cost of works has risen while the availability of material (of the appropriate particle size for each particular area) has reduced. Against this background of rising costs and reduced availability of material, an efficient method of identifying and utilising the appropriate material that is available for each beach is required.

The proposal is to undertake a two-year Beach Management Study (2017-2019) that would identify a source and a possible best practise method of obtaining beach material, placing it on the beaches and managing it from Hurst Spit to Swanage. The study would include the potential for the beneficial use of material from dredging undertaken by ports and harbour authorities.

A joint Beach Management Plan was a new action agreed by all the local authorities and the Environment Agency at the 2015 SMP Action Plan Review meeting. The 2014 Poole and Wareham Strategy Study also identifies bay-wide benefits in Poole Bay, damages, future geomorphology changes and breach scenarios etc., which can be incorporated into a joint Beach Management Plan.

In considering all the beaches together in one study it should be possible to identify some efficiencies associated with increased scale of the combined works.

Project Objectives

  • Undertake studies to investigate the possibility of developing a Beach Management Plan to inform schemes which will protect properties within the SMP area identified in capital schemes in the most efficient way in the long term.
  • Establish a position where it may be possible to package up current replenishment and recycling schemes to enable efficiencies in the future.
  • Identify all sources of beach replenishment materials as usual commercial sites become unsustainable.
  • Inform future schemes identified in the Capital Investment Programme.
  • Identify environmental concerns to set a way forward for sustainable replenishment / recycling.
  • Identify what evidence would be needed to apply for a dredging licence, by undertaking early engagement with statutory bodies (the Marine Management Organisation, Cefas and Natural England).

Hold the Line‘ is an SMP policy option that involves maintaining or changing the standard of protection provided by the existing defence line by carrying out work in front of existing defences (such as beach replenishment, rebuilding the toe of a structure, building offshore breakwaters, etc)

The full Poole and Christchurch Bays SMP can be found at