Removing Damaged Coastal Defenses at West Beach

Following a series of extreme storms which have battered the coast, Havant Borough Council has fenced off an area at West Beach, Hayling Island, and will be removing one of the damaged coastal defenses.    

In the interests of safety, engineers from the Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership (ESCP) will carry out further inspections and will make plans to take out the structure.

Removing this failing coastal defense is in line with long term policy for the coastline which is ‘natural evolution’.

The beach is changing more quickly than was initially anticipated and this is because the area has been experiencing an increased frequency of powerful storms year on year.

The groynes in front of this structure are still working and are retaining existing beach levels so these will be maintained for as long as possible – although these too were put in place in the mid 70s so are also beyond their anticipated lifespan, said the council.

The long-term plan for this area will be part of a new Flood and Erosion Risk Management Strategy which will be developed over the next two years and consultation will be a core part of this.

The council’s policy since 1997, which is based on land use and coastal processes, is not to replace timber structures and to remove them when they are considered unsafe. It is agreed that constructing new defenses at the cost of millions of pounds is not appropriate in this location.

Central government funding is only available if it protects coastlines where there is a threat to property or life, said the council.

Photo: Image source: ESCP