Solent coastguard station at Lee-on-the-Solent to close but new facility will be built in Hampshire

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PLANS to close the Solent’s coastguard station and replace it with a state-of-the-art command centre will go ahead, the government has said.

Transport secretary Philip Hammond has announced watered-down proposals to reduce the number of coastguard centres around the country.

Some of the stations around the country which were due to close have now been saved.

But the plan to replace the current base in Lee-on-the-Solent with a state-of-the-art operations centre in the Portsmouth or Southampton area will remain.

Responding to the statement in the House of Commons, Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage said: ‘I would like to welcome the news that there will remain a centre in the Solent area.

‘I would like to ask the secretary of state to look at keeping it in Lee-on-the-Solent.

‘The MCA already owns a big site there so it makes financial sense.’

The announcement of a revised set of plans comes after criticism of the proposals to cut the number of centres in the country from 19 to eight.

Only three would have remained open 24 hours a day, including the one in the Solent.

But under the plans announced today, 11 centres would remain and they would all be operational around the clock.

Mr Hammond said: ‘There will be a station in the Portsmouth or Southampton area.

‘The Daedalus site is certainly one that is being looked at by the agency as a location for the centre but no final decision has yet been made.’