Team Van Oord awarded contract to protect North Portsea Island

Team Van Oord has commenced work on phase one of a £44m, 10-year flood protection scheme for the north of Portsea Island which will reduce the risk of coastal flooding and erosion to the area over the next 100 years.

The contract has been awarded to Team Van Oord by the Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership, and made possible by funding awarded to Portsmouth City Council by the Environment Agency.

Portsea Island is a small, low-lying island which contains a large proportion of the city of Portsmouth. It is the third largest (by population) of any island in the British Isles after the mainlands of Great Britain and Ireland, and has the highest population density.

The first phase, known as the Anchorage Park Scheme, is valued at £6m and involves the construction of 1.4km of coastal defences along the north of Portsea Island between Ports Creek Railway Bridge and Kendall’s Wharf.

This is the first stage of the multi-million pound flooding and coastal erosion risk management scheme being developed across the north of Portsea Island. The wider scheme will reduce the risk of flooding and erosion from the sea to 4,200 homes, 500 businesses and critical infrastructure, over the next 100 years.

Initial site preparation work involving the removal of vegetation has been completed and phase one construction works began on 5 May and are expected to continue until October 2015.

The site has been set up with compounds, a haul route and site security, and work is underway building earth embankments, placing rocks and delivering materials to the site.

The design of the defences incorporates ideas from local residents, offered during consultation events held last year. More than 200 local residents attended a further two events his year, and of those who filled in feedback forms, 94% said they fully supported the scheme.

Once the defences are built, the area will be enhanced through an extensive replanting programme. This will increase the diversity of plants in the area, improving the current ecosystems and habitats for wildlife.

Footpaths along the coast will be improved as part of the scheme and the area will be planted with species chosen to enhance the local habitat.

Councillor Rob New, Portsmouth City Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Community Safety, said: “The work will protect thousands of homes and businesses as well as vital road and rail links and is a further commitment to our island city for present and future generations.”

28 May 2015