Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Funding bid for storm-hit Hurst Spit beach

Hurst Castle Image copyright Oast House Archive
Image caption The castle on Hurst Spit was built by Henry VIII as one of a chain of coastal fortresses and was completed in 1544

A bid for £300,000 to help protect a storm-hit beach that is home to one of Henry VIII's castles is to be made to the Environment Agency.

New Forest District Council has agreed it will apply for the funding for Hurst Spit, near Milford on Sea.

The 1.5m (2.5km) shingle bank was hit by major storms in 1996, 2013 and 2014.

The cash would allow a study to be carried out to assess the viability of restoring the beach material, the council said.

A public consultation will also be held to identify the "economic benefits and environmental impacts of the recharge", the authority added.

Image copyright NFDC
Image caption Hurst Spit was repaired following major storms in 1996

The natural beach peninsula extends from Milford on Sea into the Solent towards the Isle of Wight.

Following major storms in 1996, about 300,000 cubic metres of beach material and 125,000 tonnes of rock were used to stabilise the spit, the council said.

However, further storms in the winters of 2013 and 2014 resulted in more damage and there are now plans to add another 150,000 cubic metres of beach material within the next five years.

Image copyright NFDC
Image caption About 300,000 cubic metres of beach material and 125,000 tonnes of rock were used to stabilise the spit in 1996 following major storms

Steve Cook, the council's coastal service manager, said: "The spit at Hurst is a well-known and important key feature of our coastline that provides protection by reducing the risk of damage to properties by flooding.

"It also shelters the environmentally important salt marshes and mudflats."

A decision on the funding is expected by November.

Hurst Castle, which was built by Henry VIII as one of a chain of coastal fortresses, was completed in 1544.

Image copyright NFDC
Image caption The shingle beach was further damaged following storms in 2013 and 2014

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