PLANS to protect 1,700 homes from coastal flooding are to go on show.
Havant Borough Council is aiming to apply for about £6m from the government to protect low-lying homes and a nature reserve at Eastoke peninsula on Hayling Island.
The area is vulnerable to large waves and suffered a major flood in 2005.
Residents will be asked for their views on the plans, which include new rock barriers, groynes and a splash wall.
And the message from the experts is that doing nothing on the peninsula would be a big mistake.
The council, which tops up the shoreline with extra shingle every year, commissioned scientists from HR Wallingford to study the vulnerable coastline.
If all flood protection measures were discontinued, it found parts of the coastline would start disappearing after 25 years, with the coast retreating more than 7ft every year.
With the prospect of sea levels rising due to global warming, it says the work is vital.
The plans concentrate on improving defences around the Sandy Point Nature Reserve and Eastoke Point, where the defences are comparatively poor.
The work is necessary to protect the existing channel into Chichester Harbour.
Eastoke councillor David Collins said: ‘It’s imperative that work is carried out.
‘It’s dramatic the effect the tides can have round here.’
Lyall Cairns, coastal defence partnership manager at the council, said: ‘We have been working hard to include the feedback we had from the last exhibition to ensure that we have taken on board residents’ views and concerns.
‘It’s an extremely complex project which demands extensive research and studies of the area to plan the management of this shoreline.
‘Working with local authorities in Portsmouth, Gosport, Fareham and also the Environment Agency, we can pool our knowledge and expertise to arrive at the best possible approach to manage the risk of tidal flooding and coastal erosion.
‘The exhibition is a great way to engage with the community affected and help support and answer any concerns they may have about the project.’
Public exhibitions are being held on April 18 at Hayling Island Sailing Club and on April 19 in St Andrew’s Church, Southwood Road. These exhibitions are drop-in events running from 1pm to 7.30pm on both days.
The scheme designs will be finalised following feedback.