THE Environment Agency has responded to concerns raised by Portland residents after tonnes of boulders were put on Chesil Beach.

Portland residents and environmental campaigners told the Echo that they feared the big rocks would be used to concrete an area below Quiddles Cafe on the seafront and cause long-term damage to the iconic beach.

Islanders spoke out to demand more transparency on decisions involving the World Heritage Site.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “The rock which has been delivered to site will be used to create a temporary access to allow the repairs to go ahead.

“The rock may be used to protect the repairs from attack by future severe storms, buried beneath the shingle which continues to make its way back into the beach.

“The precise configuration of rock beneath the sea wall is under technical review whilst the piling and concrete repairs are being progressed as a matter of some urgency.”

The Environment Agency's contractor is carrying out emergency coastal defence work to the sea wall at Chesil Cove, which was undermined during recent storms, on behalf of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council.