Southampton to tackle coastal erosion with sea defences

Southampton City Council has announced a coastal erosion scheme on the Western Shore to reduce the risk of permanent damage to the city’s only publicly accessible natural coastline.

Urgent action is required to prevent closure of shared foot and cycle paths in the area, as waves and an increase in storms in recent years have broken up beach materials.

The council has teamed with Balfour Beatty Living Places to develop a new coastal erosion defence and to improve any existing defences, including an old sea wall which has been damaged.

The project will also involve re-planting the area, building more wildlife habitats, installing a new fence at the top of the path, and upgrading public benches for visitors to enjoy.

Plants will also be placed along the top of the cliff to encourage biodiversity, since the area is popular with wintering birds, such as Teal and Dark Bellied Brent Geese.

Cabinet member for Housing and the Green Environment, Cllr Lisa Mitchell, said: ‘We’re pleased to be starting this scheme of work that will ensure people have access to and can enjoy Weston Shore for years to come.

‘We have a small window of time to complete the work before the colder months set in, when the fantastic nesting wintering birds arrive. We’re sure the public will understand the need for this work to take place now and will enjoy seeing the improvements to the shore over the next few months.’

The project, funded through the city council’s Community Infrastructure Levy and Environment Agency Local Levy, will begin 15 August and will last around 12 weeks.

Southampton City Council is a coastal protection authority and has a number of powers assigned under the Coastal Protection Act 1949.

While there is no formal duty to act under this, local leaders decided to invest in the coastal defences as they are critical infrastructure and beneficial to the public.

Photo by Adiel Gavish


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