Southsea Coastal Scheme enters new phase

The section of promenade between Blue Reef Aquarium and the Pyramids will close from Monday (31 January) for construction of the second phase of the Southsea Coastal Scheme. Fencing has been erected around the work area as the site is prepared in readiness for demolition of the existing sea defences and rock work. A pedestrian diversion route will be in place around the landward side of works to Southsea Castle until construction is complete in early 2024. Guy Mason, Southsea Coastal Scheme Project Director said: "In accordance with our planning permission and recent communications, we have now fenced off an area of promenade for our Southsea Castle flood defence works to include areas for site storage. "While we understand this closure along the seafront may cause some inconvenience, it has been done in order to leave Southsea Common completely open to the public. "We have provided advice on the promenade closure and periods of intensive work to groups ranging from major events organisers to people holding their weddings at Southsea Castle. "In addition, we have delayed taking possession of the site so people could continue to enjoy the promenade over Christmas and New Year. "I want to assure people that we will do our utmost to ensure minimum disturbance during this essential work, but please be aware that the schedule of operations is dependent on tide times so some night activity is inevitable." This latest stage of the Scheme - known as Frontage 4 - has been designed to take the unique heritage of the area around Southsea Castle into consideration. Cllr Hugh Mason, Cabinet Member for Planning Policy and City Development said: "This is an exciting stage of the Scheme as it has the potential to completely transform the area into a 'theatre of the sea' that will attract locals and visitors alike. "The design will improve the openness and accessibility around Southsea Castle and along the seafront, while features such as a new split-level promenade will significantly enhance the environment for everyone." The Southsea Coastal Scheme is the UK’s largest local authority-led coastal defences’ project, worth more than £100M. It will stretch for 4.5km from Old Portsmouth to Eastney.