Page last updated at 13:39 GMT, Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Coastline homes 'need defences'

Stormy weather
Better defences could protect coastline homes from flooding

More than 4,200 homes on the Hampshire coastline could be flooded in the next century, without better flood defences the Environment Agency has warned.

It said properties which are at risk along the Portchester Castle to Emsworth stretch of coastline "need to be protected with new defences".

In consultation with the councils affected, the agency has drawn up a flood and erosion management plan.

Residents can view the draft plans at exhibitions starting from 27 February.

What we are proposing in this draft strategy is the best way to manage the risks
James Humphrys
Environment Agency

James Humphrys, Solent & South Downs area manager for the Environment Agency, said: "We have to take a long term view of flood and erosion management for this stretch of coastline.

"We cannot prevent all flooding and erosion but we believe what we are proposing in this draft strategy is the best way to manage the risks. "

The Portchester Castle to Emsworth draft coastal flood and erosion risk management strategy recommends the vast majority of properties should be protected to their current standard or better - which includes upgrading flood defences or building new ones.

The agency said it was aware "government funding is limited and there is strong competition from around the country".

Residents must lodge their views before 13 April. The final strategy will be produced later this year.

The exhibitions, in partnership with Fareham Borough Council, Portsmouth City Council, Havant Borough Council and Chichester District Council, will be held at Portchester Community Centre on 27 February, Emsworth Centre on 6 March and at Langstone Sailing Club on 19 March.

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