A £2.68m artificial surf reef which is currently under construction at Boscombe, near Bournemouth, may not be completed by the end of the year.
Poor weather has been blamed for delays to the scheme, which will create the first artificial reef in the northern hemisphere 225m (738ft) off the Dorset coast.
Work started on the project at the end of August as part of the wider £9.66m Boscombe Spa Regeneration Project, funded by Bournemouth Borough Council. New Zealand-based marine consultant ASR, which is responsible for creating the reef, had originally hoped that it would be completed by the end of October.
However, a statement issued on 28 October 2008 said: “Construction of the reef relies on periods of good weather with calm seas, and we are sure you can all appreciate that the weather this summer and autumn has been poor.
“While everyone has been working on the site at every opportunity, the contractor, ASR, has now advised us that it may be difficult for them to complete construction this year. We are discussing future arrangements with the contractor for completion of the reef.”
Once complete, the reef will increase the number of surfing days at Boscombe and has been designed to provide grade-5 waves on a day with good swell. On calmer days, a lagoon will be created along the shoreline to ensure safe, flat conditions for beach users.