HARBOUR railings stretching from Weymouth’s Town Bridge in front of the former borough council offices at North Quay are to be removed, refurbished, moved back slightly, and replaced.

The work will include the addition of stone capping to the harbour wall which will reduce the risk of water over-topping the structure.

Planning permission for the alterations will allow further work on patching and strengthening a 235-metre section of harbour wall, known as Wall 4 & 4i, running towards Westwey Road.

The project is thought likely to cost around £1 million, extending the life of the wall until at least 2060.

Dorset Council intends to use the Hanson company for the project as they will also be responsible for the demolition of the former Weymouth and Portland Borough Council offices.

Partial road closures will be put in place when the work takes place as well as moving boats from berths alongside sections of the wall – a timetable for which has yet to be agreed.

An engineering report says that the wall is now at, or near, the end of its useful life although many of the sections are still capable of being repaired or strengthened. Its condition is better than some other harbour walls because it is some way from the direct action of the sea or the berthing of large vessels.

Some sections of the wall show clear signs of cracks with plants growing in some areas, further weakening the structure.

An area planning committee unanimously approved the works to the larger railings, which mostly date from the 1930s. Similar work will be carried out to a length of lower railings towards the western end of the wall, together with repairs, or the replacement of harbour ladders. The work to the lower railings, ladders and walls will be carried out under permitted development rules, not needing full planning consent.

Vegetation between the railings and on the walls will be replaced during the work with some areas of the wall being patched and more extensively damaged areas replaced with new stonework.