VIDEO: Stretch of Southsea flood defence ‘could totally collapse by the morning’

  • But contractors can’t get on site until the morning with specialist filler to plug gaping holes in sea defences
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FEARS have been raised a 100m stretch of Southsea’s sea wall could totally collapse overnight if the weather does not improve.

Portsmouth City Council leader Donna Jones says the hole in the promenade behind The Pyramids Centre has got bigger overnight - and if it expands anymore then it will cause the already understrain barrier in front of it to buckle and give way.

But she warned contractors can’t get on site until tomorrow with specialist filler to plug the gaps - which could be too late.

Cllr Jones says that would leave The Pyramids Centre exposed to flooding and there could be a repeat of the severe damage caused to the venue in February 2014, which left it closed for most of the year.

The Tory leader, who has also said there are plans to bring in a 2,000 tonne rock pile to prop up the wall from the beach side, said: ‘The wall is still standing, but the hole has got bigger on the promenade.

‘What we are really concerned about is tonight. If the wall takes another massive battering, that section of wall will collapse, and that leaves The Pyramids exposed, because the waves will start coming over the top and head straight towards The Pyramids.

‘We are hoping the contractors doing the flood sea defence work in the north of the city will get on site tomorrow and put aggregate filler in the holes and we can look to put in the huge rock pile by the end of this week or by Monday at the latest.’

Cllr Jones also dismissed claims by Lib Dem leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson that £25,000 had been cut from the sea defence maintenance budget, saying the cash had been saved by the council as the Environment Agency was now contributing towards environmental staff wages.

Work to build new sea defences in Southsea costing around £117m is due to begin in 12 months time. The money, supplied by the government, takes into account ongoing maintenance work.