MORE than 650 people have attended the first two exhibitions on the new coastal defence scheme and have their say on the future look of Southsea.
With more than 8,000 homes at risk of flooding, Portsmouth City Council and other groups including Balfour Beatty have unveiled the Southsea Coastal Scheme proposals.
Eight areas of the seafront have been recognised as part of the scheme including Long Curtain Moat, Clarence Pier and Southsea Common with each area having a number of different options.
Cath Longhurst from Southsea went along to the public exhibition at Canoe Lake Tennis Pavilion.
Cath said: ‘It is great to have the chance to look at all the different options and the film they are showing is really useful to be able to imagine it better.’
Some of the options for the coastal scheme include pedestrianising the seafront.
Cath added: ‘For me keeping car access is really important because we need to make sure everyone can get to it.
‘Also although the weather is absolutely lovely at the moment and people think it would be nice to walk along the seafront but it is only like this for a small part of the year and in winter having the road is better.
Partner Tracy Newman said: ‘I agree about not pedestrianising the seafront as it could also pose some safety issues in terms of it being very lonely in the winter if there are no cars going past so I definitely think we should keep the roads.’
Tracy added: ‘I think it is great to have options as it feels as though the public do have a choice so I really hope our opinions are taken into consideration by the council.’
Claudia Chester, also from Southsea, said: ‘I think it is great to have different choices and it is great so many people are here to have their say because as we are an island this is a key issue.’
The 49-year-old added: ‘I think car access should be kept.’
City council leader, Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson was at the exhibition to talk to residents about the scheme.
He said: ‘I don’t know what the overall feedback will be but it has been really positive so far.
‘We have given people choices that can actually be implemented and it is great so many people have come along to find out more.’