Work to begin emergency repairs to the harbour wall in West Bay has finally been confirmed.

Dorset Council says is it will begin the work to Wall B at West Bay Harbour from Monday, February 26, after a week of preparations,  as it requires 'six weeks of urgent works' to prevent the wall collapsing.

The work will force the adjacent food and drink kiosks to temporarily close whilst the works take place, but reopen will reopen time for the Easter holidays providing the are is deemed safe, according to Dorset Council.

The Mound car park will also be shut during the works to allow for materials and construction equipment – including an excavator and large crane - to be kept at the site.

The emergency repairs involve installing 35 metres of steel sheet piling to the toe of Wall B and filling in any holes that have opened up.

The footpath and toilets adjacent to the kiosks will remain closed, but temporary public toilet arrangements will remain in place.

Dorset Council says that access to the Esplanade, Jurassic Pier, Windy Corner café and Helmet City shop will be largely unaffected, and the Harbour Master office will remain open.

Dorset Echo: A map of the area affected by the emergency workA map of the area affected by the emergency work (Image: Dorset Council)

There has been some concern that the work to repair the walls could impact the food kiosks over the busy summer months.

However, the council is hopeful that as long as the emergency repairs are successful, the kiosks should be able to trade during these months.

A longer and more significant programme of works is being planned for the end of 2024 or early 2025 in order to construct a new wall which could take up to six months to complete.

Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for highways, travel and environment, said:

“We’ve been keeping an eye on this wall for many years now, balancing the need to maintain the harbour with the potential effect of works on West Bay’s businesses and tourist trade. 

"But the time has come to take action to prevent further damage to the wall in the future and keep the area safe.

“Given the disruption to the kiosks in the area, it’s been vital to keep business owners up to date with our plans and I want to thank them for their input and understanding. 

"Everyone involved appreciates the challenges of maintaining an historic asset such as the harbour, and I’ve every confidence our team will work efficiently and considerately to keep disruption to a minimum."

“West Bay is a beautiful part of Dorset, and its harbour attracts visitors from all over the country, so I’m pleased that we’re working to ensure the kiosks will be open in time for the peak holiday season. 

"As soon as our plans for the new wall construction are ready, we’ll be sure to let everyone know.”