THE new sea defences at Southsea will cost the taxpayer upwards of £100m.
But experts and councillors are concerned that the cost will be greater if nothing is done, with more than 8,000 homes at risk.
READ MORE: Why are the coastal defences needed?
The government has paid out £5.9m for the scheme’s development, which has been spent on designs for the defences. Portsmouth City Council has pledged £6m to the scheme.
It is hoped the rest of the funding will be secured from central government as a Flood Defence Grant-in-Aid, (FDGiA) via the Environment Agency.
As a project costing more than £100m the plans have to be approved by the Environment Agency, as well as the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Treasury. However, the council are keen to bid for the grant as soon as possible.
Council leader Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson said: ‘What I have been told is that we need to get planning permission this year. If we don’t then the money we would be getting to pay for this is at risk.’
The council is also hoping to find other sources of funding, including Solent LEP.