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Bid for £6m scheme to save Hayling Island homes from flood

UNDER THREAT Eastoke on Hayling Island

By Jeff Travis
Published in the Portsmouth News on Friday 20th April 2012

MINISTERS were today called on to stump up around £6m to help protect hundreds of homes from flooding.

It comes as residents welcome ambitious plans to protect the Eastoke peninsula on Hayling.

Havant Borough Council is poised to make a bid for government funding in June.

Without the new defences, experts say up to 400 homes, together worth around £50m, could face serious flooding.

And parts of the peninsula – including a protected nature reserve – could start disappearing to the sea within 30 years.

Scores of residents viewed the plans at Hayling Island Sailing Club.

The plans focus around the Sandy Point Nature Reserve, where timber groynes have decayed and desperately need replacing.

The council already dumps piles of shingle along the beach at Eastoke, which experiences huge waves from the Atlantic.

The council wants to build an improved sea wall, groynes consisting of rock rather than timber, and new rock barriers.

More than 70,000 tons of rock would be dumped along the coastline.

Residents told The News they didn’t want to see a return to the 60s, 70s and early 80s when the area was regularly flooded.

Angela French, 73, of Southwood Road, said: ‘If you live on Hayling, when there’s a big storm or high tide, it can be quite scary.

‘We are pleased by what they are doing.

We feel safe because it’s being done.’

Peter Crane, 71, also of Southwood Road, said sea spray regularly hits his windows during bad weather.

He said: ‘In winter, when there’s a gale, it’s quite frightening.

‘What we are talking about is a solution. This work is necessary.’

If the bid is successful, work could start next year.

Lyall Cairns, coastal defence partnership manager, said: ‘It’s pretty vital to the lifeblood of this community.

‘If we don’t invest and manage flood risk, there would be risk to life and property.’

He added: ‘I would hate to think we did not do this in the next five years, but we are competing for limited national funds.’

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