Multi-million scheme to protect hundreds of homes set to progress

Aerial shot of ex-VT Halmatic site, now called Trafalgar Wharf 
Picture: Camilla Green
Aerial shot of ex-VT Halmatic site, now called Trafalgar Wharf Picture: Camilla Green
Fareham Borough Council leader Sean Woodward, mayor and mayoress Cllr Geoff  and Tina Fazackarley, with other councillors at the topping out Picture: Malcolm Wells (171120-8909)

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A SCHEME to protect hundreds of homes from flooding is expected to move forward at a meeting tonight.

Councillors on Fareham Borough Council’s executive are set to meet tonight to push forward an £8.48m coastal flood and erosion management scheme to cut the flood risk from 361 homes and 108 commercial properties.

The scheme – which is being developed by the Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership (ESCP) – would protect the homes and businesses along Southampton Road in Paulsgrove, Hamilton Road in Portchester and Portchester Sailing Club.

It would see land raising on Southampton Road, a revetment structure to the Southern Water pumping station, a sloping revetment to Castle Shore park and a new piled wall around the sailing club.

However, for the project to go ahead, it needs £5.4m from the Environment Agency and £3.07m from Quadrant Estates, the developer behind Trafalgar Wharf.

Councillor Keith Evans, head of planning on Fareham Borough Council said: ‘This is a very large project and is one that will protect the homes and businesses for a long time. It will also help regenerate the area and is a much-needed development.’

The executive are set to give their backing to the scheme at tonight’s meeting, although the local authority has also stated that it will not be allocating funds towards the project.

Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of the council said: ‘This project is set to be financed using Section 106 funds and by the Environment Agency.

‘The council will not be putting funds towards it. We have already committed £1m in funds towards restoring the sea defences at Hill Head which we did not have to do.’

If the executive give their backing to the scheme, then the ESCP will make their application for funding to the EA which is needed as the developer will only release the £3.07m needed once the EA commits their share of funds.

Cllr Woodward is confident that the project should be fully funded by the end of the year, with work tentatively scheduled to commence – should the project receive funding and approval – by April 2019.

Construction would last for around 18 months, concluding in October 2020.

The risk to the area is predicted to rise considerably by 2115 with 662 properties left at risk from flooding but in recent years has considered to be necessary given the sea defences’ condition.