Mixed reactions to plans for new Southsea water feature

PLANS for a new £450,000 water feature on the seafront have received mixed views from city residents.

Saturday, 2nd December 2017, 5:54 am
A CGI of new water feature outside Southsea Castle

Portsmouth City Council is replacing the current fountain outside Southsea Castle with 30 water jets and coloured lights.

The jets will be used to create a reflective pool in front of the castle, on Brian Kidd Way. The project has been partly funded by Victorious Festival and work is due to start on Monday.

In an online poll by The News, as of yesterday, 67 per cent of people agreed the existing stone fountain needed replacing and thought a new water feature was needed. But 24 per cent thought the current fountain was fine.

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Five per cent thought the area needed updating but did not like the jets while four per cent did not want any water feature.

Plans for the water feature, which can be co-ordinated to create different displays using the lights and jets, are included within the council’s seafront masterplan.

A spokeswoman said: ‘Victorious Festival has contributed towards this project, with the remainder coming from the council’s capital budget.

‘This budget invests in a range of infrastructure schemes throughout the city such as buildings.

‘This budget isn’t spent on the day-to-day running of council services which have to be paid through a separate revenue budget, therefore these services are unaffected by this project.’

When finished, the council says the new feature will ‘complement other improvements being made to the area’.

These include creating a new commemorative space for the D-Day Stone, relocating the statue of Field Marshal Montgomery and developing a new space for LCT 7074 – one of the few surviving D-Day landing craft, which the museum’s two tanks will be displayed in.

Councillor Linda Symes, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: ‘It is fantastic that we’re starting work on this project. The new water feature will be a wonderful addition to the seafront and make the approach to Southsea Castle even more impressive.

‘Along with the work being done to enhance the area around the D-Day Museum this will help make our seafront an even more attractive place for visitors and residents to enjoy.’

There will be no access to Southsea Castle from Brian Kidd Way while the work is being carried. It should be complete in spring.