RESIDENTS are being urged to have their say on ‘essential’ works to shore up the seafront in Swanage – which could see new public toilets, entertainment areas and outdoor seating created.
Swanage Town Council says three locations ‘need to undergo essential ground stabilisation works’ to protect them for years to come.
The works come ‘due to significant ground movement and slope instability’, the council added.
The affected areas are: Sandpit Field, Weather Station Field and The ‘Spa’ beach hut area.
“Following extensive monitoring of the site, and the recognition that essential stabilisation works take place to protect these well used community greenspaces, Swanage Town Council is asking for feedback on possible options that aim to stabilise and enhance the green seafront that runs parallel to Shore Road,” a council spokesperson said.
Council-contracted engineers, WSP, have drafted two options for the stabilisation of the green seafront. The options are:
Option One: An essential scheme option for essential works
A document outlining the plans said: “This option would stabilise the area and retain Sandpit Field as a large events field for future generations while retaining current features of the fields with greenery and stone walls.
“Enhancements under the essential scheme include a replacement of the planting on the beach side of the field to create an attractive, biodiverse area close to the sea.
“Additional beach huts will be provided on the Spa area, in a very similar orientation and style to those that were there previously, and Battlegate toilets will be upgraded providing modern public conveniences that serve both the beach huts and this area of the Blue Flag beach.
“Finally, Weather Station Field will be preserved, and new seating will be provided for residents and visitors to enjoy the wonderful views.
“Limitations of the essential scheme are that it would limit the opportunity to substantially enhance the fields once the stabilisation work has been completed.”
Option Two: An enhanced option providing more public benefits but is more substantial in terms of scope and cost
A document for this option outlines the plans.
It said: “This option would stabilise and significantly enhance the area with the notable filling in and conversion of Walrond Road to create more green space, linking up the sections of the Green Seafront.
“This option offers numerous public realm improvements including increased accessibility, biodiversity and enhanced event space but is significantly more costly than the essential scheme.
“Sandpit Field will be retained and enhanced, delivering a significantly improved and fully accessible event space with a secondary smaller event field available for smaller events and celebrations.
“Increased planting, chosen to enhance biodiversity, add interest and complement the natural landscape will be introduced delivering a green and vibrant seafront to attract wildlife.
“Through the closure and filling in of Walrond Road, public open space will be increased, connecting the areas to enable accessible routes through and across the landscape with the plaza and amphitheatre seating creating greater connectivity to the beach.
“Seating will be increased at key locations across the site, allowing visitors space to sit, enjoy the views with pathways that are level and accessible enabling the space to be enjoyed by all.
“New, larger beach huts, including some which have level access and are suitable for use for those with limited mobility will be introduced. These are located to ensure full regard is given to the fantastic views available and are set into the landscape to ensure they blend into the natural environment.
“New, modern and accessible public conveniences, including those with disabled facilities will be provided along with shower facilities.
“Finally, a new eating and drinking space with outdoor seating will be provided at the plaza creating a new destination at the northern end of the Main Beach.”
Residents are now being urged to have their on the plans – and to select their preferred option – in an online survey at www.dorsetcoasthaveyoursay.co.uk/swanage-green-seafront-stabilisation.
They can also find out more at a number of upcoming events:
• September 23: ‘Planet Purbeck by the Seaside’ event, 10-3pm.
• October 6: Swanage Market
• October 19: Mowlem Theatre Show Bar, 4-7pm
The survey will close on October 31.
Cllr Tina Foster said: “While the stabilisation works are essential and scheduled to be carried out in 2025/2026, there may be an opportunity to significantly enhance these areas.
“It is important to gain the community’s view on the two options. If additional funding can be sourced option 2 enhancements include, increased accessibility, biodiversity, seating, new larger beach huts, accessible toilet facilities and potentially a new plaza with eating and drinking space.
“Please take a look at the options and tell us your view on which option is best for Swanage.”
For more details on the plans, and to have your say in the survey, log on to www.dorsetcoasthaveyoursay.co.uk/swanage-green-seafront-stabilisation.