The project has now finished, please download the project closure letter for final details.
The coastal frontage at Royal Victoria Country Park is protected by a sea wall, over recent years a number of weaknesses have been identified including voids behind the wall, bulges in the sheet piling and corrosion of the wall. This has meant that the footway along the top of the wall has been shut since 2006 due to safety concerns. Although the County Council has and continues to undertake maintenance work it’s thought that the sea wall has reached the end of its design life and ongoing maintenance will not be sustainable.
Hampshire County Council (as the landowner) need to determine the best medium and long term solution for the Country Park frontage and main entrance. There are a number of issues that need to be considered including the following:
As the landowner of Royal Victoria Country Park Hampshire County Council need to determine how to manage the section of coastline in front of the Country Park to ensure that a long term access route to the Country Park and associated residences is maintained. The CCATCH project has engaged with the local community in order to:
The work has focused on access issues within the Park that would result from a loss in coastal defences. Key questions that will be addressed in the process are:
The project will not be able to fund any coastal defence scheme for the park or the Netley frontage.
The project will help the community understand the coastal defence and cost issues affecting the Country Park and give the community an opportunity to influence short, medium and long term planning for coastal defence of and access to the park.
The following issues have been identified:
A Local Engagement Group, which includes around 10 local community representatives, has met to help the project team determine how best to engage the wider community in the project and has helped develop a Stakeholder Engagement Strategy, a leaflet, exhibition material and the workshop process. A number of workshops were held with community members to consider the issues. During the workshops participants were asked to consider how the area has changed over time and will continue to do so in the future by discussing their memories of the Park; how they value the Park currently, and what they would like to see in the future.
Workshop reports can be found below:
Since workshop 3 a draft Adaption Plan has been shared with the community. The project has now come to a close, and a letter has been sent to the project, explaining how the work of the project will now be assimilated in the future work of Hampshire County Council. Download project closure letter.
The community proposed the following vision:
'The coastal frontage at the Royal Victoria Country Park needs to be accessible for all with the flood and erosion risks managed. The community would like to explore options for an environmentally acceptable and cost-effective engineering solution for the road and the park entrance. The scheme will be part of an integrated vision of which the community in and around the park can be proud, with iconic views across Southampton Water and enjoyment of recreational activities.'
It should be noted that there is no consensus on what the community believes should be the response to the end of the sea wall's design life.
The Draft Adaptation Plan considers 4 possible solutions or options for the coastal frontage:
For each of these the various constraints are considered such as costs and other resource implications, technical feasibility and other practical considerations, environmental impact/opportunity, permissions, timescale and what other information is required. The best option seems to be a step change approach with short, medium and long-term solutions being adopted. The community were open to taking a combination approach to the options as steps to a longer-term adaptation plan. This plan links closely to the Royal Victoria Country Park’s emergency plan so that it is clear to all what steps would be taken in the event of a catastrophic collapse of the wall caused by extreme weather or structural failure.
Download the draft plan - RVCP Adaptation Plan Draft, Jan 2014.