Local MP Alan Mak has welcomed an agreement amongst local decision-makers to protect Langstone Mill Pond and the adjacent coastal footpath.
Havant Borough Council, Hampshire County Council, Chichester Harbour Conservancy and Coastal Partners, plus Natural England and the Environment Agency, have agreed to the following for the next 25 years as set out in a Statement of Common Ground:
- Maintenance of the Mill Pond wall
- Maintenance of the coastal path along its current route by construction of a footbridge towards Wade Lane
Mr Mak has worked on this issue for more than 12 months and has met each of the local decision-makers to encourage them to reach a consensus, as well as sharing the views of local residents and community groups with them.
In December 2023, he secured the approval of Natural England for appropriate works to protect the Mill Pond and coastal access path if local decision-makers could agree a way forward, which they have now done.
Last month, he organised and chaired a meeting in central Havant where he convened senior representatives from the local decision-making bodies who agreed to take the next steps in relation to their Statement of Common Ground.
Coastal Partners will take the lead on Mill Pond protection work. Their next step is to create a works programme and apply for relevant permits and permissions.
Chichester Harbour Conservancy, in partnership with Hampshire County Council, will take the lead on the new footbridge, and will commission a report into possible designs as their next step.
The aspiration of all the local decision-makers is to complete these works by the end of 2024.
Mr Mak said: “Having worked on protecting the Langstone Mill Pond and the neighbouring coastal footpath for more than a year alongside local decision-making organisations, I’m delighted they have reached a consensus.
"At my meeting we discussed the next steps and I look forward to the local organisations putting their plans into action to protect these key local assets.
"Thanks to all the local organisations for working with me and for their collaboration which has resulted in an agreement for the next 25 years.”
Councillor Alex Rennie, Leader of Havant Borough Council, said: "The efforts of all parties to discuss, consider and address the requirements of coastal access between Langstone Mill Pond and Wade Lane has come to fruition, providing meaningful benefits for residents and visitors to our shoreline. Securing the commitment to a quarter of a century of maintenance for the defences is a tremendous result and cause for celebration."
Councillor Russell Oppenheimer, HCC Cabinet Member for Countryside, said: "I am really pleased that all the organisations with an interest in this area have come together to agree a plan that will enable visitors to enjoy access to the coastal route at this beautiful location. This includes a bridge to replace a section of the path where the sea wall is becoming unstable.”
Councillor Ann Briggs, chairman of Chichester Harbour Conservancy, said: "The partners have worked hard to reach a positive solution whereby the sea wall around Langstone Mill Pond will be professionally maintained and the coastal footpath, with its outstanding views across Chichester Harbour National Landscape, will remain in its current position by way of a new footbridge that will benefit local residents and visitors alike.”
Acknowledging the longer-term future of Langstone and the harbour as a whole, a wider and separate Chichester Harbour Investment and Adaptation Plan is also proposed for the continuing management of the coastline.
Mr Mak supports this proposal for long-term thinking and welcomes the future involvement of a variety of local and national bodies.
Photo Caption: Alan Mak MP chairs meeting with local decision-makers in Havant (representatives from Havant Borough Council, Hampshire County Council, Chichester Harbour Conservancy and Coastal Partners plus Natural England)
Coastal Partners will provide future updates via their webpage: https://coastalpartners.org.uk/project/langstone-mill-pond-to-wade-lane-havant-166/
To read the Statement of Common Ground agreed by local decision-makers, visit: https://coastalpartners.org.uk/static/media/resources/statement-of-common-ground-january-2024.pdf