Frontage 3

SOUTHSEA COMMON

In 2024, the Southsea Coastal Scheme will begin work in the area known as Frontage 3 (Southsea Common) which stretches from Blue Reef Aquarium to the Hovertravel terminal.

Work here is scheduled to last from early 2024 until summer 2026. Marine work will be undertaken from early 2024 to autumn 2024, and this will be followed with land work that will last from autumn 2024 until summer 2026.

Southsea Common
Year 3 of seeding beach looking at naval monument

THE DESIGN

A combination of stepped and rock revetment will provide the main sea defence here, with a managed beach. A raised embankment with a gentle slope into Southsea Common will provide the secondary defence. The promenade and road will be raised to maintain sea views.

A NEW SPACE TO ENJOY THE SEAFRONT

The images show the area between Blue Reef Aquarium and the Naval Memorial. Picture yourself here in the future, enjoying watching local entertainers while sitting on the new benches and wall. This part of Frontage 3 will be a distinctive area of Southsea that is open to numerous possibilities.

Social space illustration

The required defence height of the structure in this area will be broken up into stepped levels, featuring coastal planted terraces, play areas and seating. This area of promenade will provide a space for events as well as socialising and relaxing. Check out the lighting in the images. You’ll notice the lampposts are curved, as is the seating, this is to reflect the windswept nature of the seafront.

Social space looking out to sea

Lighting will be installed in some of the seating, much like that seen in the newly opened area around Long Curtain Moat. The defence along the shore will be a 600mm high wall which serves to delineate the rock and the promenade whilst maintaining sea views.

 

THE PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL

The Naval Memorial will remain intact throughout our work in this area and will still be accessible via Southsea Common. We have engaged with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and have their support for the design around this Grade I listed structure.

Naval memorial illustration

This image shows the secondary flood defences around the War Memorial. Two triangular ‘wing walls’ at either side will tie in with the grass bund here which creates a buffer between the embankment and the memorial, thus further protecting the structure. The planters and benches will be raised with the provision for flood gates to form the secondary defence. The flood gates have been designed to have a minimal visual impact and will only be required during infrequent extreme events. The promenade will be raised and flush with the memorial base, so there will be no steps needed to access it.

You can see the road surface in front of the memorial is different. It comprises a mix of Yorkstone and granite ‘setts’ which are square units, like block paving bricks. The different look of the road and cycle lane here helps to emphasise the significance of the memorial and there will be two crossing points in place with drop kerbs added to encourage public access and appreciation of the structure.

 

THE ROCKS

If you have been out and about near Blue Reef Aquarium recently, you’ll have seen large piles of rock awaiting installation in the area known as Frontage 3.

Rock placement will start here in early 2024. By completing the rock installation during the early phases of this frontage we will be able to leave the road open for longer – around six months. The rock here will not remain piled up as is currently the case. It will be placed in a similar method to that seen around Southsea Castle.

 

THE BEACH NEAR THE HOVERTRAVEL

A full shingle beach will remain between the Beach Club and Hovertravel. Steps will provide access to the beach from the promenade.

We’ll be adding more dredged material to increase the size of the beach, so expect to see the Sospan Dau dredging vessel in the vicinity to refill shingle here.

To ensure the full beach here is maintained, a seeding beach will be established in the area between the Beach Club and the Naval Memorial. As this area experiences rapid erosion, materials from the seeding beach will naturally wash down to the full beach between the Beach Club and Hovertravel, keeping it topped up.

Over 2-5 years the seeding beach material will diminish as it drifts towards the full beach. When this happens, it will be manually replenished. There has been limited beach here for many years, but the importation of shingle will see more beach than previously existed. This shingle will be topped up (recharged) periodically so it will fluctuate between recharge periods.

Year 1
Year 3
Year 5

Our design was amended to include rock due to the vulnerability of this section to erosion. The only solution to having no rock in this area would be to establish a full beach, however this would not be feasible due to the coastal conditions.

 

THE PROMENADE

In these images you can see the two buildings along the seafront remaining in place with access provided. The promenade along this stretch will be 8m wide in most areas. Running alongside will be a 3m wide two-way cycle lane which will be segregated from car parking by a 2m buffer strip, allowing drivers to safely leave their vehicles when they park for a day at the beach.

Design of new Promenade

The echelon parking currently here will remain the same, in order to maximise the number of parking spaces. The road will be raised by approximately 800mm.

Raising the road to the same height as the promenade means the sea wall will be lower, thus protecting the sea views for all.

A secondary defence is provided by a grass bund that slopes into Southsea Common. The road will change to a one-way road, with vehicles able to travel from east to west. The reduced traffic along the seafront will in turn reduce congestion and pollution. To improve safety, the speed limit here will be reduced from 30mph to 20mph.

 

THE NEW ‘MEMORIAL WALK’

The stretch along this frontage will be greatly enhanced, showing off the seafront’s Grade II listed memorials, lampposts and shelters. They will be placed centrally along the promenade to create a memorial walk. The memorials are currently closer to the sea, however moving them to a more central position will protect them from the coastal elements whilst creating more space around them.

The greater prominence will provide better connectivity between the memorials and the public, bringing the past and the present together. The memorials will also have a different surfacing to the area of promenade around them, with Yorkstone (a variety of sandstone taken from quarries in Yorkshire) installed to blend in with the rich heritage here.

Memorial walk illustration

There are currently six yellow shelters along the promenade. Two shelters will be placed in this area of frontage 3, with each being equidistant from the War Memorial. The remaining four shelters will remain in the area between the Pyramids and South Parade Pier. (see frontage 5) link to Frontage 5 page.

As we are raising the levels of the promenade, all shelters will have to be dismantled for the duration of the works and then re-installed. To complement the memorials, new lights will be installed along the promenade, highway and cycle lane.

The existing Grade II listed light columns will be refurbished and upgraded to LED lights. Due to their heritage status, the light emanating from these will cast a gentler hue and will form part of the memorial walk. The promenade finish will be an exposed aggregate concrete, as per the recently opened site by Clarence Pier. This will provide a consistent, high quality, durable finish along the seafront.

 

watch the rockwork in full swing near the Naval Memorial