Gosport council accused of dragging its feet to fix sea wall

A COUNCIL has been accused of dragging its feet over repairs to a sea wall.

Storm Katie caused part of the wall to crumble away and a section of the promenade at Stokes Bay, Gosport, was closed off in April.

Now the east and west section has a 60cm gap between the beach and the promenade with the hole stretching back towards the road.

Councillor Peter Chegwyn, leader of the Liberal Democrats party in Gosport, said: ‘The council has been dragging its feet over this.

‘The trouble is that the longer it takes to get the problem fixed, the more it costs.

‘I would like to see it open for the summer holidays. It is wrong having a section of it closed off.

‘The council needs to get its ideas together and get the work done.’

Safety fencing has been put up around the promenade but visitors can still get access to the beach.

Repair work on the western section of promenade has been agreed and it is expected to start in July and last two to four weeks, subject to necessary licences and consents.

Damage to the other sections is more extensive and coastal engineers will carry our further investigations over the next two months.

The council says that once that has happened, an action plan will be developed in line with the recommended coastal management policy for the area.

Councillor Mark Hook, leader of the authority, said: ‘This section of sea defence has been closed to the public following storm damage on numerous occasions in recent years.

‘The spray and flooding to the road is also an issue during these storms.

‘Various repairs have been undertaken by the council, but the overall condition of the seawall remains a concern.’

As previously reported in The News Cllr Hook said it was not the first time there had been problems with the sea wall at Stokes Bay.

He said the repair plan needs to look at ways it can be prevented from happening again.

The council is working with the Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership, 
which designs and manages coastal defences stretching from Hill Head to Hayling Island.