MORE than £200,000 looks set to be spent on improving a promenade that is collapsing onto the beach.
Fareham Borough Council is looking at ways to stop the deterioration and improve more than 700yds of the Salterns Lane walkway at Hill Head.
The timber edge of the promenade is falling apart and infill material below the footpath is subsiding onto the beach, resulting in potholes.
An inspection of the path by the Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership in spring this year confirmed that in its current state, its lifespan was anything from a year to a decade.
Ward councillor Tim Knight said: ‘This is maintenance work that needs to be done, it’s not because of vandalism or anything like that.
‘It’s good news that the officer’s report is recommending the nicest looking option.
‘This is a very popular stretch of beach even in the winter.’
The council’s ruling executive will be looking at four options for the path’s future.
The first option is to install a Trief kerb, a type normally used in highways, at a total cost of £206,000.
There is also the choice to put in steel trench sheets, which would reinforce the earth banks and replace the timber planks. This would cost £180,000.
The favoured option is to sink new 4ft-long hardwood piles into the seaward-side of the promenade, which will then have hardwood boards attached to them. It costs £212,500.
The final choice is the same as the previous one, but using reclaimed wood instead of new, and would cost £134,000.
A report by leisure development manager Gareth Satherley said: ‘The Salterns promenade is a large, well-used facility and the remedial works that are undertaken will be visible for decades after the work has been completed.
‘The aesthetic appearance of the finished work is therefore considered to be of key importance.
‘The Trief kerb and trench sheet solutions, whilst providing robust solutions, are the least visually attractive solutions.
‘The timber solution would be in keeping with the current facility and the marine context.’
Whilst using reclaimed timbers and boards in place is considered to be the most eco-friendly, it would be dependent on finding enough reclaimed materials and not as long-lasting.
Repair works will need the walkway to be closed for up to three months and are likely to take place from January 2014.
The executive will make its decision on Monday.