Costs of proposed plans to protect Dorset’s coastal region are justified given benefits to the local area, according to heritage groups.
The Jurassic Coast Partnership is gathering opinions from the public about the best way to manage the Jurassic Coast over the next five years.
In 2001 it became the first completely natural landmark in England classified by the United Nations as a World Heritage Site.
Sam Rose, Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site Manager, said: “This is the third revision of the management plan.”
“We did it in a big way five years ago, although the 2008 public consultation was only 8 weeks and this is 10 weeks.”
“The coast is hugely important to the area. It has provided massive economic, social and cultural benefits for Dorset including jobs and education programmes.”
The coastline stretches 95 miles across Dorset and East Devon and features rocks up to 185 million years old.
Rachel Cole, Marketing Manager at Dorset County Museum in Dorchester, said: “It is a dramatic and beautiful landscape that is highly valued by local people both as a national treasure and a globally important geological site.”
John Burden, director at the museum, described the Jurassic Coast as “world famous” with “185 million years of history.”
Michael Tomlinson, Conversative MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, said: “The coast is hugely important as it draws and attracts tourists to the Dorset area.”
The plans have not come without their challenges.
Rose said: “There are many complex issues, and many different stakeholders along the 95 miles of coast.”
“The challenge is meeting many different needs, but not raising unrealistic expectations.”
Tomlinson added: “I don’t have exact figures of potential costs, but as always it is about a balance of public money.”
“If it does provide a great amount of tourism and income then it is worth it.”
The draft management plan was made freely available online.
Hard versions can be sent on request and copies are available in selected county libraries.