Construction of the new sea defences began in September 2020 in the area between Portsmouth’s iconic Square Tower and Clarence Pier. Highlights of the reopened area include:
- A new seawall built with Purbeck limestone and granite units
- Unearthed original historic walls on display for visitors to admire
- A higher and wider promenade
- 18 tide pools
- Two new bridges
- Enhanced lighting
- Planting beds
- New seating – some with lights installed
- Renewal of the Clarence Pier carpark.
The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Cllr Hugh Mason said: “The Southsea Coastal Scheme is crucial because, without raising and strengthening the existing defences, we could well see a future Portsmouth reverting to being a morass in the wake of climate change and other factors.
“During my time as Lord Mayor, this is truly the most visionary and important opening I have conducted due to the difference these defences will make to our city’s future.”
Leader of the Council, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson CBE said: “This first stage of the Southsea Coastal Scheme shows how the team managed to strike a delicate balance between building sturdy new defences and preserving the rich historic significance of Long Curtain Moat.”
Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development, Cllr Steve Pitt said: “The Southsea Coastal Scheme is a once in a generation opportunity to keep the city safe and prosperous despite the ever-growing threat of climate change.
“The development also provides great opportunities for future investment, keeping the seafront alive and active in a recreational but also a commercial sense.”
Project Director for the Southsea Coastal Scheme, Guy Mason said: “The construction journey has been a complex one which brought together multiple disciplines in a team that is creating a world-class coastal defence for Portsmouth.
“We now move on to other phases of the Scheme with the end goal of completing 4.5km of defences by 2028, protecting more than 700 businesses and 10,000 homes from the risk of future flooding.”
The first phase of the Southsea Coastal Scheme was opened to the public on 10 February to allow residents and visitors to enjoy half-term while some minor finishing touches were being completed.