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Coast protection and management

Management of the Christchurch coast

Management of the Christchurch coast between Mudeford Sandbank to the West and Chewton Bunny (Highcliffe) to the East is guided by the Poole and Christchurch Bays Shoreline Management Plan (SMP2).

The council manages 10.3km of coast including Christchurch Harbour. On the coast outside of the harbour, there are 50 groynes, 4km of sea wall, 2km of vulnerable cliffs and 3 hectares of special salt-tolerant grass sward. 

See Christchurch Borough Council's Coast and coastal protection measures for more information.

Coast defence works

There are 2 categories of coastal works:

  • maintenance works - the day to day repairs to maintain the defences
  • capital schemes such as new or replacement sea defences

Maintenance works

We carry our routine maintenance works including the repair of defective groynes, cleaning sea-walls, painting handrails and grass cutting. We are not required to carry out maintenance works under the Coastal Act. 

If storm damage occurs the cost is usually taken from the maintenance revenue budget but if the damage is major, costs are capitalised and repairs are carried out under the Coastal Act.

Capital schemes

A 25 year capital programme was completed in 2000, which stabilised the Christchurch coastline outside of the harbour.

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