Southsea Sea Defences: Plans for new one-way road for Clarence Esplanade in Portsmouth to be decided

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The latest application outlining design details for a stretch of the new sea defences in Southsea will go before the city council’s planning committee next week.

Councillors will be asked to approve proposals for the coastline from Clarence Pier to Blue Reef Aquarium that includes removing some parking around the Naval Memorial and changing Clarence Esplanade to a one-way road.

“The proposed changes by this application would still deliver a key and essential piece of infrastructure for the city for new flood and coastal erosion defences and contribute to the city’s wider economic growth and regeneration,” a report published ahead of Wednesday’s (October 4) meeting says.

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“It is considered that the likely environmental impacts of the development have been adequately assessed and subject to reimposition of the same conditions to secure the mitigation measures, are considered acceptable.”

A CGI of the proposed sea defences near Southsea Common. Credit: Coastal PartnersA CGI of the proposed sea defences near Southsea Common. Credit: Coastal Partners
A CGI of the proposed sea defences near Southsea Common. Credit: Coastal Partners

Overall planning permission for the £130m project covering 4.7km of the south of Portsea Island was granted in December 2019 and work began in September the following year. But the scheme has been subject to a series of planning applications to finalise details for individual sections.

The application due to be debated next week proposes changes in six areas, mostly focused around the link between the sea defences and the Grade I-listed Naval Memorial which falls in line with the secondary line of defences.

Should it be approved, parking next to the memorial would be removed to widen the promenade, which will be lower than initially expected and moved closer towards the sea, to create a better pedestrian route to the sea from Southsea Common. Clarence Esplanade would also be narrowed and become westbound-only, except for a cycle route that can be used to travel in either direction.

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The planning committee report says this change was unlikely to have a significant effect, despite changing the routes drivers take.

Some of the parking spaces would also be removed, however Coastal Partners said there would be an overall increase in car parking provision. The application also seeks permission to relocate the Trafalgar, Chesapeake and Peel or Shannon Naval Brigade monuments and both the Trident and Aboukir memorials to fit in with new public spaces along the seafront.

A managed beach would also be created at the western end of Southsea Common beach to reduce overtopping with a groyne installed to retain sand.