VITAL flood defence work will start in a West Dorset resort next week after it was battered by winter storms.

West Beach at West Bay will undergo beach re-nourishment.

Strong tides earlier this year re-shaped and stripped the beach, leaving the sea wall prone to wave overtopping.

This important work will ensure sea defences return to their original state, offering better protection to homes and businesses around the harbour.

There will be two stages to the plans. The first phase will start on Monday, October 13 and will last around two weeks. It is expected the second phase will start in early 2015.

Vehicle and pedestrian access along the western Esplanade will remain open, but parking spaces along the Esplanade will be closed off to facilitate the work during the two weeks.

The first phase will involve re-profiling the beach with new shingle to prevent waves from going over the sea wall, and the rock groyne will be rebuilt.

The shingle, approved by Dorset and East Devon Coast World Heritage Site Team and Natural England, will be brought in from the same quarry as the beach was constructed from in 2005. It will be covered in a red dust that will eventually wash away.

Part of the beach will be cordoned off and there will be truck movement to deliver the replenishment material, but the council’s contractors Hansford Construction Ltd aim to minimise disruption. The contractor will ensure highways remain clean.

Work is likely to take place between 7.30am and 5.30pm on weekdays, and may involve some weekend work.

Leader of West Dorset District Council Cllr Robert Gould said: “These flood defence works are very important for West Bay and must be done to ensure the area has the best possible resistance against any future severe weather.

“The work will take place out of season to minimise disruption and we would like to thank everyone in advance for their patience and understanding.”