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3 June 2013, 13:20 | Updated: 3 June 2013, 13:24
Urgent work to replace sea defences on Hayling Island is starting early.
Havant Borough Council is offering to move twenty-two beach huts located on West Beach at no cost to the owners, to prevent them from being lost to the sea.
Deterioration to the sloping timber breastwork in-front of the huts, situated to the west of the Inn on the Beach, has come about as a result of wave and tidal activity, causing extreme wear. Urgent work will need to be carried out to avoid it being undermined and collapsing.
Contractors appointed by Havant Borough Council will undertake the removal of a section of the existing sea defences, which was originally scheduled to take place in September. However, minor weather delays on flood defence improvement works at Eastoke Point has provided an opportunity to carry out these works ahead of schedule.
With the contractors already on-site, starting the work now will make significant savings to the public purse. The rescheduled work is due to start the week commencing Monday 3 June and will last for approximately 2 weeks.
The beach hut owners have been informed that the work will soon be underway and they have been assured that it will be completed before the peak summer holiday season. The removal of the timber breastwork will greatly improve the view from the huts whilst having no impact to level flood risk to nearby properties. It will also make access to the water much safer and easier for the owners, and for other beach users.
As with the previous similar works in March 2012, the existing timber groynes will be left in place and rock revetments will be relocated and reconstructed to provide adequate protection. The beach will adjust to a more natural alignment, matching the position of the beach crest to the west, where sloping breastwork has already been removed.
The Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership will continue to monitor the remaining section of the structure and review its condition regularly.
Havant Borough Councillor David Guest, responsible for Planning and the Built Environment , said
"The coastal team are constantly monitoring Hayling's beach frontages for signs on degradation to the sea defences. This work was planned for later in the year however, we have brought it forward in the interest of public safety.”
“Moving the beach huts is a necessity that we cannot avoid really. I think in the long run, the owners will welcome the improved views and easier access from having their huts relocated.”
“It's also great news that we can save the tax payer money and limit the disruption, by using the existing contractor who is working in this area."