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Press Release

29 May 2020

Portchester to Paulsgrove coastal defence scheme unlikely to progress in its current form

The Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership, Fareham Borough Council and Portsmouth City Council have developed outline design options as part of a study to reduce the risk of flooding and erosion along the shoreline from Portchester to Paulsgrove (2018). These options were considered with input from the Environment Agency, Quadrant Estates, key stakeholders, landowners and the public. Further information on the study and proposed options can be found at www.escp.org.uk/PortchesterPaulsgrove.

In the centre of the frontage lay a private development opportunity on the Trafalgar Wharf site which was looking to provide its own on-site flood defences.

The completed coastal defence study identifies a number of challenges, including that the delivery of the future scheme relied heavily on the prospect that significant contributions were to be provided by a private developer at Trafalgar Wharf. Not only for their own on-site defences, but also contributions towards the wider scheme to protect existing residents. 

In 2018 the Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership secured approval from the Environment Agency for the next stages of the project which proposed a £10.7 million scheme to deliver a 1 in 200 year standard of protection for the next 15 years.

However, releasing the £5.1million of government grant approved by the Environment Agency relied upon the private developer contributing £3.075 million towards the wider defence scheme and £2.3million towards defences on the Trafalgar Wharf site. The project team had also secured a £400,000 contribution from Southern Water towards the project.

Unfortunately, at present, despite intensive negotiations between Portsmouth City Council and the private developer, a mutually agreeable method for securing the contribution has not been identified. Without 3rd party contributions the planned scheme will not go ahead in its current form.

Both Fareham Borough Council and Portsmouth City Council remain committed to trying to reduce flood and coastal erosion risk to the existing communities and will investigate alternative delivery models for the future. However, at this time, any future scheme is wholly reliant on government grant and 3rd party contributions.

Cllr Keith Evans, Fareham Brough Councils Executive Member for Planning and Development said ‘It’s very disappointing that the Portchester to Paulsgrove coastal defence scheme is unlikely to be delivered as planned. A great deal of work had gone into planning and designing a scheme that would protect our coastline from flooding and erosion, so that our residents can continue to enjoy these areas in the future. Tackling coastal flooding and erosion remains a key priority for the Council and we will continue to work with our partners to find best way forward.’

Cllr Dave Ashmore, Portsmouth City Councils Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change said ‘Climate change is still happening and rising sea levels make it a priority for us to build sufficient flood defences for all of Portsmouth. Although we were not able to find a solution for the scheme around Trafalgar Wharf at this time, discussions continue with all involved and ways to fund the needed scheme are still being explored.'

Lyall Cairns, Head of the Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership said ‘We have worked hard as a team to secure funding to develop outline designs to protect the communities from the risk of flooding and we have worked hard to secure government grant for the next stages of the scheme delivery. Despite the disappointing outcome in relation to the developer contribution we are in much stronger position in terms of understanding risks and solutions. We will continue to work hard to find a resolution to this matter but without further funding the scheme cannot progress at this time.’

Nick Gray, Environment Agency Solent & South Downs Area Flood and Coastal Risk Manager said ‘The Environment Agency are disappointed that the planning negotiations have stalled and a scheme to reduce the risk of flooding for the community isn’t being progressed at this time. We will continue to work with all parties involved to try and find a solution’.

Christopher Daniel, Quadrant Estates, said ‘“We are clearly disappointed with the outcome having committed significant resources and time to developing the project. However, we have developed a strong working relationship with the relevant stakeholders and hope that in time we shall be able to resolve the impasse and thereby deliver the housing and contribute towards the flood defences.”


ENDS


For further information contact:

Customer Enquiries

Tel: 01329 236100
Email: customerservicecentre@fareham.gov.uk

Media Enquiries

The Communications Team
Tel: 01329 824310
Email: publicity@fareham.gov.uk
Fax: 01329 550576

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