The Solent Forum

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Coastal News

Wartime device found in Portsmouth Harbour - 22/2/17

Posted 22/02/2017 10:17

Royal Navy bomb disposal experts are this morning dealing with an unexploded Second World War device found in the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour.

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Natural Environment Group - Call for Funding Bids

Posted 30/01/2017 11:58

The Solent Forum Natural Environment Group (NEG) has put out a call for funding bids for 2017/18. All the information is available on the NEG pages on the SEMS website.

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Marine Conservation Zones update - 27/1/17

Posted 27/01/2017 10:30

Defra has now embarked on Tranche 3 (the final tranche) of the Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) designation programme. The aim of this Tranche is to complete the Blue Belt, an ecologically coherent network of well-managed Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) around England. Through this process, Natural England’s role will be to provide evidence-based scientific advice. Most of the MCZs under consideration are Regional Project recommended MCZs, however a small number of new site options, boundary amendments and third party proposed highly mobile species MCZs are also being considered to ensure the goal of ecological coherence is met.

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IOW Chain Ferry Retired

Posted 03/01/2017 08:28

The Isle of Wight chain ferry made its final journey on Monday night after operating for 40 years on the Isle of Wight. A £3.5m replacement for the Cowes Floating Bridge is due to enter service in late March. Until then, drivers travelling between West and East Cowes face a 10-mile diversion via Newport, although a replacement launch will operate for foot passengers from Tuesday. The old bridge is moored in the River Medina ready for sale. The Isle of Wight Council said the new ferry, being built in Wales by Mainstay Marine, would carry more vehicles than its predecessor and would make "faster, more regular" crossings.

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Transposing EIA Regulations

Posted 15/12/2016 11:35

Defra has launched a consultation on transposing the amendments for the EU Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive (2014/52/EU) into national legislation. This joint technical consultation makes changes to Defra's EIA Regulations on Forestry, Agriculture, Water Resources, Land Drainage and Marine Works. View the consultation. This consultation will close on 31 January 2017.

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Light Show to Mark First Opening at Westquay Watermark - 5/12/16

Posted 05/12/2016 14:19

To mark the opening of the first wave of restaurants, WestQuay Watermark will be hosting a weekend of festivities on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th December in the scheme’s new public plaza, The Esplanade.

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The Launch of the Solent Growth Fund - 17/11/16

Posted 17/11/2016 17:41

Solent LEP will be launching its new £2m capital fund - the Solent Growth Fund - offering funding on a grant, loan, forward-funding or equity-share basis for SMEs in the Solent on 5th December 2016 at the Hilton Ageas Bowl.

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Visitor centre on stilts planned for Lepe Country Park - 28/10/16

Posted 28/10/2016 11:56

Plans for a new visitor centre on stilts in a country park hit by flooding and coastal erosion have been given the go-ahead. The New Forest National Park Authority has approved improvement work at Lepe, including a new centre and cafe built on concrete piles to avoid flooding. The park was inundated during winter storms in 2014. Work is due to be completed by spring 2018. The park, managed by Hampshire County Council, was flooded during the Valentine's Day storms which battered the coast on 14 February 2014. Other work being carried out as part of the £2.6m project includes a redesign of the car park, landscape work, improved signage and a sensory garden.

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Government to receive Solent Combined Authority application - 27/10/16

Posted 04/11/2016 10:23

A formal application for a Solent Combined Authority is being submitted to government after all of the councils involved approved the plans. The Isle of Wight Council's Executive decided to progress the plans, following decisions from Portsmouth and Southampton councils.

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ABP Launches Port Master Plan Consultation - 17/10/16

Posted 17/10/2016 11:59

Associated British Ports have published a consultation document setting out a 20-year Master Plan for the Port covering the period from 2016 through to 2035. The consultation Port Master Plan sets out a strategy for growth and the steps ABP believe are needed to allow the port community (and region) to continue to be a successful gateway to the world. They would very much welcome your comments and invite you to take part in this consultation. An online version of the Master Plan is available at with the consultation running until 25th November. Comments may be sent to

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2016/17 Innovation Fund Programme Launch and Workshop - 3/10/16

Posted 04/10/2016 09:34

To maintain and strengthen the excellence and impact of the business and research community in the Solent, the LEP is now opening up a further round of the Innovation Programme Fund, with up to £3m of capital funding available in 2016/17 for proposals that seek to invest in new technologies, equipment, infrastructure, facilities and estates that are ready to deliver during the current financial year.

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River Hamble Harbour Authority’s (RHHA) sediment management & saltmarsh retention feasibility study - 20/9/16

Posted 20/09/2016 08:14

The final report of the River Hamble Harbour Authority’s (RHHA) sediment management & saltmarsh retention feasibility study, is now available at The RHHA would welcome any initial thoughts on the conclusions of the report by 04 November. These will be used to inform discussions on any future work required by RHHA or by others.

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