A decision has been made to postpone the proposed consultation events for the Southsea Coastal Scheme until the early summer. David Williams, chief executive of Portsmouth City Council and senior responsible officer for the programme, said:
“In developing the Southsea Coastal Scheme, we have always been clear that as well as providing an effective and environmentally sound coastal defence, it’s really important that we preserve and enhance the unique character of Southsea seafront.
“We know how much local people love the seafront, and we have been consulting with residents and businesses from the start to make sure they are involved and engaged. Over the last few months, the Southsea Coastal Scheme team have been working hard to develop design ideas, alongside holding a series of public events in autumn 2017 that nearly 700 people took part in. This followed the initial public consultation on outline design options in 2014.
“More recently we have been planning the next phase of consultation, where members of the public would be invited to engage with the design team and shape the future of the seafront based on the designs, drawings and models of the potential options available. We had hoped to hold consultation events on these options starting in February. As such, venues were booked and the envisaged dates were advertised whilst the drawings and models of the design ideas were being worked up.
“Unfortunately, the consultation materials still require more work to make sure those we are consulting with are able to visualise what the different options would be like on the seafront. This is a complex, large scale engineering project that is of critical importance to the future of one our most cherished assets and to the city as a whole, so we have made the decision to postpone the consultation period to give us more time to ensure the presentation materials are of the highest standard.”
The events will be rescheduled for early summer and dates and venues will be confirmed and promoted as soon as possible. Meanwhile, further preparatory work will continue to ensure the project remains on schedule.
For further information on the Southsea Coastal Scheme, please visit southseacoastalscheme.org.uk