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Flood defence work worth £800,000 being planned for sea wall in ‘grave disrepair’ in Langstone

The sea wall at Southmoor Lane, Havant

Published in the Portsmouth News on the 10th of August 2017

Story by Tamara Siddiqui

 

ALMOST £1M worth of work is being planned to rejuvenate a sea wall in ‘grave disrepair’.

The design of the Environment Agency’s Southmoor Flood Alleviation Scheme comes as widespread concern grows about the flood risk to the area near the wall, in Langstone.

The Southmoor sea wall is a privately-owned, low-level, concrete sea wall fronted by a shingle beach.

The Environment Agency (EA) has engaged with residents, councillors and businesses in designing the £800,000 scheme, and will continue to do so before submitting an application for the works, to Havant Borough Council.

A spokesman for the EA said: ‘The sea wall at Southmoor is in grave disrepair and needs constant attention.

‘The flood risk is increasing over time as severe rainfall events become more frequent and sea levels rise.

‘We are working closely with ABPmer, Capita AECOM and Team Van Oord to develop the scheme, carry out the necessary impact assessments and secure the required permissions and consents.

‘The project will be funded by the government and complement the flood defence work being done by Havant Borough Council.’

In May, EA representatives met with more than 100 locals in order to discuss plans for the scheme and gain feedback.

It was suggested that the scheme should not increase the likelihood of fluvial and tidal flooding and that as much as possible of the existing coastal footpath should be kept and the cattle grazing nearby should be maintained.

Many asked for information boards, improved seating and better footpaths.

Last month an exhibition was held where interested parties then had the opportunity to view the current plans and talk to the project team.

The EA spokesman added: ‘We are currently in the process of looking at solutions for the Southmoor sea wall and as of yet no formal decision has been made about what will be done.’

Numerical modelling has been undertaken to consider the tidal and fluvial impacts of the scheme for a range of typical extreme conditions.

If its planning application is submitted this month, the EA anticipated project completion in March 2019.

Ray Cobbett, chairman of the Havant branch of charity Friends of the Earth, said: ‘The wall is in a bad state. This project marks the new way of dealing with rising sea levels and we’re in favour of the way it’s being handled by the EA.

‘Current proposals protect property nearby, and create habitat for wildlife.’

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