Repair and Upgrade of Hengistbury Head Long Groyne

Posted 18th July, 2023

BCP Council has submitted a planning application for the repair and upgrade of the Hengistbury Head Long Groyne, which plays a critical role in reducing coastal erosion and is a stabilising feature of Poole Bay and Christchurch Bay.

The council’s Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Team have made the application to ensure this essential defence structure continues to provide coastal flood and erosion protection for the next 100 years. The application is now available to view on the council’s planning website, supported by an exhibition at the Hengistbury Head Visitor Centre, where the public can view the proposals.

Cllr Andy Hadley, Portfolio for Climate Response, Environment and Energy, said:

Long Groyne plays a significant role in reducing the risk of coastal flooding and erosion across our 15 miles of coastline and beyond. Over recent years, especially during storm events, the Long Groyne has been frequently submerged. Projected sea level rise and increased incidences of extreme weather are threats we must be prepared for, so it is essential we do all we can to repair and upgrade this infrastructure now.

These repairs help mitigate against the long-term loss of land stretching from the Purbecks to the New Forest, and the damage which would otherwise be caused to thousands of properties and infrastructure.

Following, a detailed inspection of the Long Groyne in 2019, using specialist sonar and laser equipment, access to the Long Groyne was restricted for safety reasons. The inspections revealed the structure, which was originally installed in 1939, was in a poor condition and several voids were discovered in the foundations below the waterline, which provided an associated risk of localised collapse.

The improvement proposals will see the Long Groyne remain at its current length of approximately 150 metres but will be made wider and 1.5 metre higher using natural quarry stones, which have been chosen for their durability. The improvements would also realise opportunities to enhance the natural environment by providing new habitats for both marine and land-based wildlife.

The location of this Long Groyne has played a significant role in determining how this project has been planned and how it will be delivered. Great importance has been given to factor-in the environmental sensitivities of this location, as Hengistbury Head is a Scheduled Monument, and Site of International Archaeological Importance and Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Residents and interested parties have until 23:59pm on Friday 28 July 2023 to view and comment on the application.

The Hengistbury Head planning application number is 7-2023-15059-Y and is available to view:

Project details & updates: