RESIDENTS' views are being sought on a blueprint document that sets out future plans for harbours at West Bay, Lyme Regis and Weymouth.

Dorset Council has launched a public consultation on a Harbours Strategy to guide the development of the three harbours over the next ten years. The draft Dorset Harbours Strategy document was approved for public consultation yesterday and the council hopes to gain the support of local communities and stakeholders by seeking views.

Action points included in the strategy include making the three council run harbours financially self-sufficient - with Bridport and Weymouth harbours said to be currently running at a loss.

Meanwhile, the blueprint states that plans will be put in place for making Dorset a premium destination 'by supporting existing and developing leisure, tourism, and commercial sectors.'

Other actions include improving communications surrounding issues relating to the harbours - something that has been criticised previously.

The strategy has been developed by Dorset Coast Forum working with the council's Harbours Committee, and will unify the three harbours under Dorset Council's management while recognising the unique qualities of each.

As part of this work, Dorset Coast Forum carried out an initial public consultation about harbours in Autumn 2020 and has been using this feedback to help guide the development of the strategy.

Councillor Mark Roberts, chairman of the Dorset Council Harbours Committee said: “We are pleased with the progress of the draft strategy so far and now are urging people to get involved in helping us in finalising the Dorset Harbour Strategy.

"We are particularly keen to hear your views on the harbour’s strategic goals and the actions around achieving those goals. We need to ensure this strategy sets achievable aspirations on how the harbours are managed so that they can thrive and continue to be at the heart of our coastal towns.”

As reported, members of the Dorset Council Harbours Committee discussed the plans at a recent meeting ahead of the strategy when Weymouth councillor Louie O’Leary called for the document to be tightened up to make the outcomes more measurable.

He told the Dorset Council harbours committee that many of the proposals lacked specifics and would be difficult to work out whether or not they had been achieved.

The online survey is now live and will be open for eight weeks, closing at midnight on December 5 2021.

Once the feedback has been reviewed the final strategy is scheduled to be submitted to the Dorset Council Harbours Committee for approval in March 2022.

To download the Dorset Harbours draft strategy and complete the survey visit

Paper copies of the survey are available on request by contacting or 01305 224833 or at the Harbour Master Offices.