All systems go for £6.6m flooding defence scheme

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MAJOR works to improve flood defences on Hayling Island are due begin next year as the council is set to be awarded a £6.6m grant.

The improved defences on the low-lying Eastoke peninsula will protect around 400 homes.

The Environment Agency has informally approved funding for the scheme and leaders expect a formal approval letter very soon.

Consent has also been granted by the council’s planning committee.

The work by Havant Borough Council will involve replacing four timber groynes with three rock ones.

Two rock revetments – which are banks of boulders running parallel with the shore – will be built. One will be 700m in length and the other 130m.

Peter Crane, 72, of Southwood Road, said: ‘This is very good news because last week we had three or four flood warnings.

’The water came over on to the footpath.

‘Something that will avoid that and the worst case scenario is very welcome.’

Eastoke is vulnerable as it has no protection from the Isle of Wight – meaning waves from the Atlantic carry far more energy in them.

Only one written objection to the work was received by the council.

The work is set to start in April and is expected to take between four and six months.

The plans also include a new disabled access ramp with railings at Nutbourne Road and a stepped access at Bosmere Road.

However, access to some parts of the beach will be restricted during the construction.

The work will be carried out between 7am and 7pm on weekdays. Large quantities of material will be delivered by sea.

Councillor David Guest, who heads coastal defences, said: ‘As far as I am aware it’s approved in principle.

‘The wheels move slowly but eventually I am sure we will get the necessary confirmation we expect.

‘It’s extremely good news. I think it’s an important project to protect part of Hayling Island that is vulnerable. The houses are likely to be inundated unless these works are done and proper precautions are taken to give long-term security.’