Coastal Partners has applied for planning permission to change the design of its originally planned tiered structure to a build-out which, it said, would “celebrate” the structure which is believed to have been designed by military engineer Sir Bernard de Gomme.
“It is in very good condition for its age and Historic England were extremely keen to have it preserved in-situ,” a document submitted to Portsmouth City Council with its planning application says.
“Unfortunately the design at this point in the scheme consists of terracing around the castle and this ‘wedge’ would protrude quite significantly if retained. Around 1m of the historic structure would need to be permanently removed to accommodate the design as currently approved.
“Options were discussed…and it was agreed that the most appropriate action would be to alter the design to accommodate the structure, to avoid causing any irreversible harm to the historic remains.”
The application is for a “non-material amendment” to the scheme already approved by the council and is the latest revision to the original plans to be submitted. Last year, similar proposals were submitted for the sea defences at Long Curtain Moat after an 18th century wall was found in the middle of the route of planned piling work. The council approved the application to put it on public display.
The work at Southsea Castle, which is already underway, will involve replacing a section of the terracing with the wedge-shaped build-out which will allow the historic wall to be covered rather than being left exposed. To do this, the wall will be covered with a protective fabric and a wall and concrete-filled blocks will be topped with a slab to create the viewing platform.
The new wall will then be etched to show the outline of the historic wall and its connection to Sir Bernard Gomme, following a request from Historic England to explain the significance of the structure. A deadline of September 12 has been set for the council to reach a decision on the application.