IT'S CRUNCH time for West Bay's £1.3 million regeneration scheme.

At a special open meeting on Tuesday town councillors will be asked to decide which of two projects finally gets the green light.

Planners were forced back to the drawing board when the Environment Agency scuppered the original scheme for a multi-purpose building on The Mound because of flooding risks.

The proposed 'landmark development' would have incorporated the harbourmaster's office, coastguard HQ, plush new restaurant and public toilets.

Now two new options are being proposed: Option 1: To construct a new Harbourmaster's building with Coastguard muster room and garage and public toilet with showers on The Mound.

Because of the cost of this option only limited funds would be left for other environmental and highway improvements around West Bay.

Option 2: Refurbishment of the existing harbourmaster's building, including new changing rooms and showers and the refurbishment of the public toilets on The Mound. This will cost significantly less than the new-build proposal, leaving cash for more comprehensive environmental and highway improvements such as:

  • An outdoor classroom for the World Heritage Site
  • Jurassic Coast interpretation
  • Traffic management and improved public transport facilities
  • Improved paving and surfacing
  • Inclusion of public art.

As part of this option the district authority says it would involve the town council and local community in further consultation to agree the scope of the improvements, taking into account the previous community involvement.

Tuesday's meeting at the town hall will hear that around £1.3 million is available for the works. This includes £1 million towards the regeneration of West Bay set aside by West Dorset District Council and the leftover cash from the coastal defence and harbour improvement scheme.

In addition the county council will give £160,000 for highway improvement.

The Marine and Coastguard Agenc previously set aside £250,000 for the Coastguard muster room and a garage and if this goes ahead this money will also be available.

Other grants that could be expected include £300,000 from the South West Regional Development Agency for a Jurassic Coast project.

The district council says that whichever scheme is chosen it intends to go ahead with the visitor arrival centre in the West Bay Road car park for which planning permission has been granted.

n Tuesday's meeting starts at 7pm. Following a presentation by the district council the public will be allowed to comment before the town council goes into formal session to make its recommendations.