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Safety Matters on Hayling

February 2023

Diary Date: February 28th 7:30 pm at URC HIRA’s public meeting speaker is Donna Jones, Hampshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner. Are you happy with policing on Hayling? Come and hear her current policies, future plans and ask your questions. Join the discussion, see you there.

The draft Hayling Island Coastal Management Strategy will decide whether Hayling sinks or swims! In December, HIRA’s Committee submitted a joint response to it with Havant Climate Alliance and Friends of the Earth, copying in our Borough and County Councillors. We will be meeting with Coastal Partners to discuss our submission with them. The Strategy tries to show how Hayling’s coast can survive the UK’s Environment Agency’s forecast of over 1 metre sea level rise, caused by 1.5 degrees C global warming by 2100. However this figure has already been superseded. The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported (August 2021) that, without immediate, large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, 1.5 degrees will be reached within 20 years.

What does this mean for Hayling’s coastline and our properties? We know, from HIRA’s public meetings addressed by Coastal Partners, that Government will not fund a comprehensive coastal defence wall around Hayling. Therefore we urge Coastal Partners’ Strategy to clearly reflect the revised temperature and sea level increases. Similarly we ask for flood contour maps around our coastline to reflect current and forecast tidal variations. Landowners and the public need to know where the current and future weaknesses are, how much these need to be strengthened to prevent flooding. We know that strict environmental rules require careful sea defence construction in our harbours; landowners need to understand best practice. But we are concerned that some landowners appear to be denied the right to build flood defences to protect their property because of ‘natural’ realignment policy e.g. Coastal Partners’ planning ‘bunds’ with gaps that create coastal tidal habitat. It seems grossly unfair that Hayling must lose valuable land so as to mitigate building on fields elsewhere, such as on the mainland. We objected to ‘do nothing’ policy which results in such land loss.

We provided detailed responses to several Strategy documents, and referenced every identified coastal section in Appendix E, which explains the reasoning behind the leading options for each section. We criticised the Strategy’s confusing presentation and urged an extension to the consultation to give people more time to understand its complexities. We do not consider this to be an easy set of documents to navigate for the general public. We also agreed that the format for the Survey’s responses was far too restrictive, causing some to give up in frustration.

To view the Strategy and its supporting documents visit their webpage Scroll down to find the important appendices and supporting information. Coastal Partners assured me that they are keen to receive more ‘input’ as this work is ongoing. At the foot of their webpage use “Contact” for your comments concerning Hayling’s Coastal Management Strategy (HICMS).


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