Frontage 4

Frontage 4 of the Southsea Coastal Scheme is the area around Southsea Castle. It stretches from Children’s Corner (Blue Reef Aquarium) to The Pyramids.

Work in this area commenced in January 2022 and is expected to be complete by spring 2024. The promenade between Blue Reef and The Pyramids will be closed over this period.

Design details

Frontage 4 has been designed to take the unique heritage of the area around Southsea Castle into consideration.

The primary defence is a rock revetment, designed to dissipate wave energy, and a small concrete wall to minimise wave overtopping the promenade. Around Southsea Castle, an innovative split level promenade will enhance views across the Solent, minimise loadings on the castle tunnels and reduce overtopping. The secondary defences are formed of existing high ground and reinforced concrete walls.

A fresh landscaping strategy will include a mix of timber seating arrangements including picnic and swing benches. Wildflower areas, bee posts and tide pools will help to boost biodiversity. Boulder play areas and sound tubes will add interest and excitement for children. Combined with new lighting, the Southsea Castle area will become a more relaxing, exciting and enjoyable place to spend time.

Split-level promenade

A split-level promenade including terracing between the upper and lower promenade will replace the existing walkway around Southsea Castle. This will feature a 4m-wide upper promenade, seating tiers and a 6m-wide lower promenade. The lower level promenade will offer safer and closer proximity to the sea.

A terraced design was selected because it has more scope to preserve and enhance the Southsea Castle area. We aim to highlight Southsea Castle and the area’s military significance through sensitive choice of materials, better accessibility and increased public vantage points.

The materials used for the terraces of the new promenade will clearly separate Southsea Castle and the promenade, complementing the castle’s existing tones while maintaining its prominence in the area. 

A theatre of the sea

Southsea Castle is a nationally important, multi-period monument attesting to the strategic importance of this coastline between the 16th-20th centuries.

The design of Frontage 4 will improve the openness and accessibility around the castle and along the seafront. It will ultimately provide better sea views and will enhance the way that the castle is showcased in its historic setting.

Features such as the split-level promenade will have significant benefits in enhancing this area both socially and aesthetically, contributing greatly to making it a ‘theatre of the sea’.

Diversion route

The promenade between Children’s Corner (Blue Reef Aquarium) to the Pyramids will be closed from January 2022 until work is complete in spring 2024. A diversion route will be in place over this period.

Click on the below image to enlarge the map showing the diversion route.

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