We all accept that Southsea needs new sea defences to protect us from rising sea levels, flooding and storm surges.
But the council has not shown the public any strategic alternatives to the single design some of us saw last autumn. We are concerned that any residents and businesses along the seafront do not yet know what is proposed. The current proposal misses the opportunity for a link with wider urban aspirations for Portsmouth and Southsea.
But it’s not too late to forge a constructive partnership between the people and the council, and that’s what we call for. We ask every individual councillor to take this opportunity to relaunch the consultation with a meaningful role for local people in deciding the options which will shape our great city into the future.
Please give local people a say on the strategic questions important to us, which have either previously been decided without residents being consulted, or have not been addressed in the previous design work and consultations.
These questions include:
*VIEWS – Can we consider setting defences back from the seafront to preserve views of the Solent, wherever possible and technically feasible, and if space allows, eg on the north side of Southsea Common?
*VIEWS - Can we consider placing any sea defence walls on the north side of the road at the eastern end of Southsea seafront, and elsewhere if feasible, so as not to block the views or otherwise deter walkers, cyclists, motorists, and other visitors?
*SOFT ENGINEERING – Can we consider all possible “soft engineering” options, which wherever feasible would improve recreational views and amenities. We’ve all seen how the sea smashes up expensive concrete.
*THE BEACH – Can we discuss preserving as much of the beach as possible, rather than simply assuming it must be sacrificed in places to concrete defence structures? The council’s pre-determined “hold the line” strategy requires steep concrete steps to reach the beach, rather than sand and shingle. Swimming, paddling and getting into and out of the sea would be difficult if not impossible. We can find no research which suggests that shingle would remain stable on top of concrete steps.
The government funds new sea defences, and recommends that different approaches are developed, fully considered and consulted on before funding is paid out. So far, Portsmouth people have only been consulted on hard engineering variations of the “hold the line” strategy.
So many families, properties, businesses and historic structures will be affected by the strategic approach to this sea defences project… we now ask Portsmouth City Council to involve the public directly to develop strategic design choices.
It’s our city, and we want to help the council to shape it for our best possible future.
This ePetition runs from 05/03/2018 to 22/02/2019.
305 people have signed this ePetition.