The derelict World War Two lookout on Peveril Point has been identified as an eyesore on the Jurassic Coast and Dorset AONB. Furthermore erosion has undermined the structure to the point where it is now potentially unsafe.
The Jurassic Coast Team, with financial support from Natural England, has commissioned Coast and Country Projects Ltd to undertake an options appraisal in order to determine the best way to resolve the issue. From the Word Heritage Site perspective, the structure, along with an associated sea defence wall, obscures part of the rock sequence within the famous Purbeck Beds while continued erosion will inevitably bring the concrete structure onto the beach. From a landscape perspective, the derelict structure is an eyesore and there are concerns about public safety. On the other hand, the building is part of the Defence of Britain heritage while local people may have fond memories in the lookout, dating from their youth.
The study has been commissioned to look at the various options, one of which will consider the implications of removing the lookout and the sea wall. In that case, what will happen to the Point if the sea wall is removed? Keith Cole and Geoff Davis, both coastal engineers who previously worked for West Dorset District Council on schemes such as the Lyme Regis stabilisation works, have been commissioned to undertake the study based on their long and proven track record.
The report will go to the landowners, Swanage Town Council, in order that the town can be consulted about the future of the building. It is anticipated that, should it be agreed that the best option is to remove it together with the sea wall, then a partnership will be formed to find the necessary funding.
Richard Edmonds, Earth Science Manager.