Scam Warning & Coastal Updates

HIRA’s first post-COVID Public Meeting welcomed well over 100 members and non-members to a lively evening demonstrating profound concern about Hayling’s future. Firstly, John Perry’s valuable advice on How to Avoid being Scammed was well received followed by many follow-up questions. John’s summary presentation is available on HIRA’s FB and website – well worth a read. Rosie Law, spear-heading swhayling’s campaign to hold Barratt and HBC to account on Sinah’s development, updated us on Sinah’s sub-surface ‘flowing water’ discovered during contractor’s investigations. We were also told about plastic rubbish found in the bird refuge’s surface soil, and local residents’ vital role in monitoring the developer’s premature actions, reporting them to HBC Enforcement teams. Contact swhayling@mail.com for further information.

Coastal Partners (CP), the Engineers funded by HBC, Portsmouth CC., Gosport & Fareham Councils to provide expert advice on managing Eastern Solent’s coastlines, presented Hayling’s options: https://coastalpartners.org.uk/project/hayling-island-coastal-management-strategy-2120/ . Although residents expressed appreciation for “plans finally being made for Hayling’s coast” and their sympathy for CP’s ‘deliveryman’ role, residents’ continued frustration focussed on our local and national authorities’ failure to prevent Hayling’s ever-worsening coastal erosion. Portsmouth’s costly sea defences, as previously reported, are ‘justified’ by Government’s policy of £8 of property value ratio to £1 of public investment. CP is forced to find ‘pots of money’ to fund its ‘soft engineering’ options that ‘allow the coastline to find its own line’. So for example, beach nourishment, managed retreat, bunds allowing sea ingress and lagoons could feature rather than revetments and solid sea walls. Our bridge carrying the A3023 will have ‘hard’ protection i.e. sea walls at each end to prevent future flooding on the highway. Eastoke’s populous area merited approximately £3million for ongoing shingle movement, but sea walls cost far more plus maintenance. Residents’ fears reveal their awareness of potential Climate Change effects. The absence of Local and National Government policy to protect existing low-lying coastal homes on Hayling, was keenly felt at the meeting. Referencing the global impact of potential Climate Change, Dave Parham asked the audience which parts of Hayling are residents willing to pay to protect.

HBC’s recent ‘An Ambition for Hayling Island Seafront’ inevitably questions the practicability of pop-ups and boardwalks on ever-diminishing coastline – if no money is spent on revetments/hard engineering, for how long will such deliberately commercial plans be viable? Touting our natural eco-system fails to address surging seawater. If HBC wants to make money out of Hayling’s vulnerable coastline and already over-pressed road network, then residents should expect Councillors and Alan Mak MP to press our case for Government funding.

I understand that the Kench residents have planned their own defence measures. HBC and CP plans already refer to coastal homes needing to be ‘raised up’ a level in preparation for sea level rises. Can we expect advice on when and where that should begin? HBC planners should surely have imposed more innovative features on developers’ new homes, anticipating more extreme weather and energy-saving needs; but Sinah’s development may instead create serious flooding problems at least for nearby existing homes.

Coastal Partners seek your priorities for our coastline now: coastal.team@havant.gov.uk

Please email your photos for our Christmas newsletter to: hello@haylingresidentsassociation.co.uk .Thank you!


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