Clarence Pier car park in Southsea has now closed for sea defence work to begin
A SOUTHSEA car park has now closed to allow for work on a £100m sea defence project to begin.
After more than seven years of planning, construction work on the Portsmouth City Council-led Southsea Coastal Scheme has begun - with the Clarence Pier car park due to be shut for the next year.
Fencing has now been set up around the perimeter of the car park and site equipment has been moved in so that phase one of the scheme, known as the Long Curtain Moat and Clarence Pier section, can start.
Councillor Hugh Mason, the city council's head of planning policy and city development, described it as a 'major milestone.' He 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.'
Weekend overflow car parking available on Southsea Common for the three weekends of September 12, 19 and 27. This can be accessed via Avenue Du Caen or Clarence Parade.
The city council's deputy leader, Cllr Steve Pitt, added: '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 some 10 years of 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.'
The project was given the green light in February after being awarded nearly £100m of government funding to the project.
Earlier this year part of the existing defences – near the naval memorial in Southsea – required repair work due to storm damage.
Phase one will occur between Long Curtain Moat and Clarence Pier and is the first of six phases. It is expected to take between 12 and 18 months, with the entire scheme estimated to end in 2026.
The scheme will directly protect more than 4,000 residential and 700 non-residential properties from the risk of coastal flooding, and will upgrade the defences from Long Curtain Moat to Eastney.
Detailed designs for other phases of the scheme are still being developed and are open to public comment.