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Fareham gets £487,500 to help with coastal defences

COASTAL Partners, as part of Fareham Borough Council, has secured £457,500 of funding from the Southern Regional Flood and Coastal Committee and £30,000 from FBC, to assess and develop long-term coastal management options at Fareham Quay and at Alton Grove to Cador Drive.

At both sites, sections of the sea wall are in poor condition and reaching the end of their serviceable life. If no coastal defences were in place, 49 properties across both areas are currently at flood risk from an extreme tidal event. This increases to 400 properties at risk during a similar event in 100 years’ time.

Further to this, both sites contain areas of former landfill and continued erosion of defences in these locations could potentially pollute the environmentally important Portsmouth Harbour.

Given the high costs associated with ongoing maintenance and repairs of current defences, a more sustainable, longer-term solution is required to manage coastal flood and erosion risk alongside the impacts of those risks on coastal landfill.

To address these issues, the Fareham Quay and Alton Grove to Cador Drive Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management studies have been launched.  The projects will also provide an opportunity to actively explore opportunities to integrate wider FBC initiatives to improve the public realm, amenity, recreation and access, and enhance community health and wellbeing, where possible.

The secured funding is for these studies only, as significant funding will need to be secured prior to design and construction being able to take place.

Over the next 18-24 months, the project team will appraise, develop and cost options for coastal management, investigate future funding sources for delivering schemes and prepare outline designs for each location. Supported by the professional engineering consultants AECOM, the project team will work in partnership with stakeholders including the Environment Agency and the local community to deliver these coastal management studies.

Councillor Simon Martin, Fareham Borough Council Executive Member for Planning and Development, said: “I am delighted that the project team were able to secure funding for these key studies. It is clear that a longer-term solution is required for coastal management in these locations, to protect the local community into the future and to address the important issue of coastal landfill.”

For more information, go to https://coastalpartners.org.uk/authority/fareham/, where you can also sign up to receive the new ‘Fareham Coastal Projects E-Newsletter’.

FOOTNOTE: Coastal Partners is a partnership between Fareham Borough Council, Gosport Borough Council, Havant Borough Council, Portsmouth City Council and Chichester District Council. The partnership has coastal engineers from each authority working as one team to manage 246km of coastline across the Eastern Solent.

PICTURED BY ALAMY: Hill Head Harbour after Storm Dennis aftermath back in February 2020.