Work begins on phase one of Southsea coastal defence scheme

How the construction of the rock armour may look.How the construction of the rock armour may look.
How the construction of the rock armour may look.
WORK is due to begin today on the city council’s coastal defence scheme to protect more than 10,000 homes in Southsea from the risk of coastal flooding.

The £130m project, which will also protect more than 700 businesses, is the the UK’s largest-ever local authority-led coastal defence project.

The development will involve the construction of new concrete revetments, raising the height of the promenade by up to 1.5 metres and the use of rock armour to replace the current sea wall.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It has been seven years in the planning, and work is now ready to start on the the stretch of coastline between Old Portsmouth and Eastney, which is just under three miles.

How the raised promenade is expected to look.How the raised promenade is expected to look.
How the raised promenade is expected to look.
Read More
Multi-million pound sea defence scheme in Portsmouth granted marine licence

Councillor Hugh Mason, cabinet member for planning policy and city development, said: ‘Finally to reach day one of the scheme's construction is a major milestone both for the scheme itself and for the city council as the local authority leading the country's largest coastal defence scheme.’

The work is being carried out by the project’s contractor, VSBW - a joint venture between engineering companies VolkerStevin and Boskalis Westminster.

VSBW project manager Neil Dorling added: ‘We are delighted to be starting work on this coastal defence scheme. Throughout the construction we will be considerate to the community and a customer centre will be opening later this year where we will have more information about the scheme and be able to answer any questions.’

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
A visualisation of how the beach widening process may look.A visualisation of how the beach widening process may look.
A visualisation of how the beach widening process may look.

The start of phase one of the construction will lead to potential disruption with the closure of Clarence Pier car park for 12 to 18 months as the area is fenced off. A diversion route will be set up with signs to advise motorists and pedestrians of alternative routes.

The council has set up a temporary overflow car park and deputy leader, Cllr Steve Pitt, believes any short-term disruption is far outweighed by the long-term benefits for the city.

Cllr Pitt said: ‘This is a great project for Portsmouth City Council, not only for the economic benefits it will bring, but also for the way it has allowed us to engage with the community throughout the planning.

‘To assist the community in these early stages of the scheme, we have organised overflow car parking on Southsea Common for the last three weekends in September as we get used to the essential closures these works entail.’

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The overflow car park can be reached from Avenue Du Caen or Clarence Parade.

Phase one will occur between Long Curtain Moat and Clarence Pier and is the first of six phases. It’s expected to take 12 to 18 months with the entire scheme estimated to end in 2026.

Further information can be found on the council’s website.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

Thank you for reading this story. The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on our advertisers and thus our revenues.

The News is more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism. You can subscribe here for unlimited access to Portsmouth news and information online.

Every subscription helps us continue providing trusted, local journalism and campaign on your behalf for our city.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.