1. ITV Report

Multi-million sea defence schemes create an uproar from locals


New plans to protect the seafront in Southsea from flooding are being debated with the council admitting not everyone will be happy with what's being proposed.

The multi-milllion pound project is designed to replace crumbling sea defences and protect more than 8,000 homes, but critics say the scheme will block views of the sea and threaten stretches of beach.

Watch the report by Richard Jones:

Southsea's sea defences have been breached four times in recent years.

No-one doubts the need for better protection, but the debate is how it should be done.

Early ideas for a concrete wall along stretches of the beach have been ditched and now there are new proposals.

Councillor Gerald Vernon- Jackson - Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Liberal Democrats:

But new owners of a seafront restaurant understand the million pounds of refurbishments could lose the view out to sea, effecting their business.

Rocksbys fear the wall would completely block the view out of the restaurant Credit: ITV Meridian

A public consultation on the scheme runs until the end of August and the council says the views of people will be listened to.

Opponents of the scheme have many concerns, the most pressing question they've put to planners is about the construction of a concrete ramp beneath the existing beach.

Costal Scheme plans showing a wall along the coast Credit: Southsea Costal Scheme

The council says it must apply for planning permission this autumn or it'll lose government money to fund the scheme. It accepts not everyone will be happy but argues it is essental to protect Southsea from flooding.

Richard Jones ITV News Southsea.