Beach huts could be moved as part of move to fix sea defences in Fareham

BEACH huts along the seafront in Hill Head could be moved as a solution is sought to fix the damaged seas defences.

Wednesday, 30th March 2016, 6:45 am
Updated Saturday, 2nd April 2016, 10:00 am
Operations team leader Dr Andrew Pearce, left, with colleague Scott Mills, both of The Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership at The Holy Rood Church in Stubbington on Tuesday Picture: Malcolm Wells (160329-1646)

Fareham Borough Council and the specialist coastal engineers at the East Solent Coastal Partnership held an exhibition and a Community Action Team (CAT) meeting yesterday about the future of the Hill Head promenade.

In January, the council spent £39,000 to fix the failed sea defences but the temporary repairs started to deteriorate just weeks after they were completed.

Yesterday, people were invited to share their views about the future of the site and discuss how to resolve the problem.

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But councillor Keith Evans, executive member for planning and development at the council, said the popular beach huts could be moved as part of the process.

‘A long term solution is for the beach huts to be moved,’ he said.

‘That would mean for a period of time they wouldn’t be available for use.

‘The current sea defence is a failed sea defence.

‘These works could be very costly. We are not likely to receive any grants from the government. The money will come from Fareham’s taxpayers.

‘This is a very significant step forward that we are taking here in terms of replacing the sea wall. It may well mean taking down the entire promenade and replacing it.’

The promenade was first closed in December as it was deemed unsafe. The work was handed to the Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership but as no residential properties were at risk it was deemed a low priority and no funding was available.

Tony Perrin, 70, from Carisbrooke Avenue, said: ‘These problems have been happening for two years. It’s been ignored for too long and it’s just washed away.

‘We just hope it doesn’t erode away any more.’

Wife Barbara Perrin, 68, added: ‘I think because the council hasn’t had the money it has done a temporary job and it hasn’t done the trick.

‘We don’t have a beach hut but I can sympathise with those who do. They must be concerned that they will go down there one day and it might not be there.

‘I hope that the council finds a realistic answer to it.’

Bill Hutchinson is chairman of the Hill Head Residents Association. He said: ‘I predict that this was caused by a lack of maintenance. You have got to have groynes in place.

‘If you put in the groynes properly and look after them then the beach will look after itself.’