The "most important" sections of a new £12m flood defence scheme for Poole could be built within the next two years, a council has said.
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council wants to replace "ageing infrastructure" between Poole Bridge and Hunger Hill.
The proposals include constructing a new quay wall.
The council's cabinet has approved plans to submit a bid for Flood Defence Grant in Aid funding.
Under the plans, a new quay would be built between Poole Bridge and the Twin Sails Bridge.
Additional defences would also be created north of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) site, with some land raising and flood gates added.
Poole town centre is at "considerable flood risk" which will increase over time due to climate change, BCP Council's cabinet report said.
It added 573 properties remained under threat despite recent schemes from Baiter to Poole Bridge.
The amount of homes affected could rise to more than 2,000 by 2110, the authority added.
BCP Council agreed it would now submit a £12m funding bid to the Environment Agency "for delivery of all primary works in a single phase".
During the meeting, Felicity Rice, the council's portfolio holder for environment and climate change, said: "The most important work would be done in the next year or two."
She added the rest of the work could be finished in 2071 "or later".
"There is no need to build the walls as high as they will need to be in 50 years' time....we could build height extensions later," she explained.
The council said the scheme "should be a catalyst for future development" along West Quay Road.
It added new quay wall heights and public walkways would be "consistent with any redevelopment of the power station site on the opposite side of Backwater Channel".