Have a say over plans to improve Solent sea barriers

One of the graphics produced about the proposed sea defences
One of the graphics produced about the proposed sea defences

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Have your say

PLANS have been put forward to redevelop Portsmouth’s ageing sea defences.

And the public are being asked whether they think the ideas are good enough or if there are better options.

The Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership (ESCP), which manages the region’s flood barriers, has come up with improvements to the defences running from the Royal Marines Museum to the Royal Garrison Church.

It believes the sea walls could be made vertical, sloping defences could be installed or splash walls could be put in behind a primary defence.

Defences along this stretch protect more than 4,000 homes, almost 400 business, many services including 20 electricity sub-stations as well as a wealth of historic sites.

Bret Davies, ESCP coastal projects engineer, said improvements were critical to ensuring protection for the next 100 years.

‘The sea defences are getting older,’ he said.

‘Some of them are about 100 years old so we have been maintaining them for a long time, and are getting towards the end of their life. So we need to replace and improve them. The flood risk to Southsea is increasing on a regular basis.’

Cllr Robert New, Tory cabinet member for environment and community safety, said: ‘How we continue to protect our coastline over the next 100 years is a crucial issue.’

For the proposed improvements to happen, around £65m would need to be found, through the government and other grant bodies.

The improvements could see the defences be used to incorporate terraced seating and amphitheatre-style spaces for performances.

A public consultation into the proposals is being held until December 29.

Four public exhibitions are being held, with the first happening on Thursday at the Square Tower, in Old Portsmouth.

The next is at the Royal Beach Hotel, in Southsea, on Tuesday, November 25.

Another is being held at the D-Day Museum on Wednesday, November 26, and the last is happening at the Royal Beach Hotel the next day.

All the sessions run from 12pm to 7pm.

You can also fill in a survey at escp.org.uk