Portsmouth sea defence plans given thumbs-up

Mutiny Festival brought over �2m to the local economy Picture: Paul Windsor

Mutiny Festival brings £2.7m into Portsmouth economy

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RESIDENTS have praised features that could come to Portsmouth seafront should new sea defences be installed.

A public exhibition was held yesterday over plans to improve and replace a stretch of the city’s ageing sea defences from the Royal Marines Museum to the Royal Garrison Church.

From left, Guy Mason, of the city council's transport and environment department, coastal project engineer Bret Davies and Matt Hosey, assistant coastal defence partnership manager, in Old Portsmouth. Picture: Malcolm Wells (143244-7584)

From left, Guy Mason, of the city council's transport and environment department, coastal project engineer Bret Davies and Matt Hosey, assistant coastal defence partnership manager, in Old Portsmouth. Picture: Malcolm Wells (143244-7584)

The Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership, which manages flood barriers, has revealed terraced seating and an amphitheatre-style space for performances could be part of new structures.

And those suggestions were welcomed by those at the Square Tower in Old Portsmouth.

Gordon Baxter, 85, who has lived in Old Portsmouth for 15 years, said: ‘It’s encouraging seeing where we can make improvements with sea defences. The seafront is always lovely, but it’s tired.

‘Anything that can revitalise it and enhance it is obviously going to be an advantage.’

ESCP believes walls could be made vertical, sloping defences could be installed or splash walls could go behind a primary defence.

ESCP coastal projects engineer Bret Davies said defences with concrete steps would be great for visitors.

‘Imagine if you have a relative in the Royal Navy leaving for six months on a ship; you could watch them go by from the new defences because you would be able to stand on different tiers,’ he said.

Ian Newman, 73, of Old Portsmouth, said: ‘The ideas would be exceptional, because Portsmouth is still at the front of seaside resorts.’

Around £65m needs to be found through the government and other sources, and at least £10m more is needed to add visitor features.

There are exhibitions at the Royal Beach Hotel, Southsea on Tuesday and the D-Day Museum on Wednesday, both from midday to 7pm.