Crumbling sea wall to be rebuilt to protect Hayling homes from flooding

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MORE than 200 homes on Hayling Island will have better protection against coastal flooding as a £350,000 scheme gets under way.

Contractors moved in on Monday to rebuild sea walls at Selsmore, a low-lying peninsula that is home to hundreds of houses, Mengham Rythe Sailing Club and Lakeside Holiday Village.

The sea wall stretches along 750ft of coastline.

But it has been slowly crumbling away over the years.

The Environment Agency says action is necessary because of the prospect of rising sea levels due to climate change.

Local residents said they welcomed the work.

Joy Sharland, from Marine Walk, said: ‘It was crumbling.

‘The tide was going in and washing it away underneath.

‘The whole thing was in danger of collapsing.

‘The houses at the end of the road would probably have flooded if the water had come over.

‘It’s peace of mind.

‘We are absolutely delighted.

‘It’s a big job. It’s going to be a lot of traffic but I have not seen any so far.’

Carol Carter, from Mengham Rythe Sailing Club, added: ‘The sailing club is very supportive of what the Environment Agency is doing.

‘Anything to do with sea defences is going to be well-supported.’

The project will involve using limestone rock to bolster the defences on the seaward side and reshaping the raised banks.

In order for the work to take place footpaths will be closed until the project is completed in December.

Notices will be displayed at either end of the closure which will show diversion routes.

During construction, there will be about eight deliveries by lorry each day.

Vehicles will enter Marine Walk from the eastern end of Seaview Road.

Environment Agency officials said disruption will be kept to a minimum while the project takes place.

Ian Tripp, from the Environment Agency, said: ‘Climate change will increase the likelihood of flooding in the future, but we can prepare for it.

‘Improvements to our sea defences are vital to ensure we can appropriately deal with the threat of coastal flooding when it occurs.’

Nearby Eastoke has already benefitted from a flood defence scheme by Havant Borough Council, funded from a £145,000 grant from the Environment Agency.

In March 36,500 tons of shingle was dumped on the beach. Maintenance work happens every year, but this year was even more necessary after huge waves from the Atlantic hit the island in February.