HUNDREDS of houses will be safe from coastal flooding thanks to a grant of £320,000.
The Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership (ECSP) has secured the money for Gosport Borough Council to help reduce the risks of flooding in three areas of the town.
Designing new coastal defences is a massive leap towards reducing the borough’s flood risk.Cllr Graham Burgess
Once built, the coastal defence schemes in Forton, Seafield and Alverstoke will see 541 homes protected until 2060.
The cash was given to the ESCP from the Environment Agency.
Nick Gray, coastal engineer for the Environment Agency, said: ‘We are pleased to have been able to approve Gosport Borough Council’s application for a government grant.
‘We will continue to support the council as they develop these schemes and would encourage the community to provide their views once the designs have been developed.’
The council’s bid for funding follows on from the River Hamble to Portchester Coastal Strategy, which was approved in April.
The strategy recommends the replacement and improvement of sea defences at the three Gosport sites.
Bret Davies, the coastal project engineer who led the council’s funding bid, said: ‘The funding we’ve secured allows us to continue what the strategy started.
‘We’ll be able to design the flood defence options, seek input from the landowners and the community, and then submit a further case for an additional £2.4m of government funding to build the schemes.’
The grant has been praised by Gosport councillors who say it is key to helping protect homes in the town.
Councillor Graham Burgess, chairman of the community board, said: ‘Designing new coastal defences is a massive leap towards reducing the borough’s flood risk.
‘We have a strong case and I hope that this injection of much-needed government funding is a catalyst for further growth, investment and development.’
Councillor Ingeborg Forder, coastal board member, added: ‘I am delighted the council is part of this very successful partnership which will benefit Gosport residents now and in the future.’
During the upcoming design process, the council will prepare engineering options and identify opportunities for improving the waterfront.
The authority is hoping to share its proposals with the public next year.
Construction could start in 2018.