Give residents a better choice of flood defence proposals for Southsea seafront
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Southsea needs new sea defences to protect us from storms and rising sea levels - without a doubt! We've all seen what they can do to the seafront.
Portsmouth City Council's current proposals are to create a stepped concrete rampart, up to 3.8m high, mostly replacing the beach, from the Hot Walls to Eastney.
They have now confirmed that all future public 'consultation' will only offer us one choice: their 'strategic approach' - which does not take account of the damage losing the beach will do to local businesses and local residents' and tourists' enjoyment of the seafront.
The government will fund new sea defences, but they recommend that different approaches are developed, fully considered and consulted on before funding is paid out.
There is an alternative soft engineering design for Southsea based on extensive research, and on experience from Holland, which you can see on the website HERE.
This 'soft' approach has many advantages. Instead of just the concrete wall or ramp, there would be three lines of defence: the beach, mounding and a dyke, with car parking and other amenities constructed underneath the mound - which need not be made of sand. We will have new sea views, and current parking areas can be greened over.
This design has not been considered by the city council. Yet it has real advantages - as we have the space on Southsea Common to consider other options - thanks to the Ministry of Defence stopping houses being built right up to the shoreline.
We believe the current hard engineering solution, using concrete to create flood defences like the hard steps to the seafront at Cleveleys in Blackpool, will do serious damage to the future prosperity of Portsmouth and Southsea.
As an island city Portsmouth's sea defences could lead the country in excellence of design and function.
For comparability, we ask Portsmouth City Council to give equal weight to soft engineered solutions for our sea defences, so that at the 'Consultation' stage we have genuine alternatives to consider.
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