Southsea Coastal Scheme Frontage 4

VolkerStevin Boskalis Westminster JV

Construction Project Overview

Protecting 4.5km of coastline from Portsmouth to Eastney, the Southsea Coastal Scheme is the UK’s largest local authority-led coastal defence project. Delivered by VSBW, a joint venture between VolkerStevin and Boskalis Westminster, the scheme is due for completion in 2028 and will help reduce the impact of rising sea levels, safeguarding more than 10,000 homes, 700 businesses, monuments and listed structures.

Responding to tough environmental challenges, the site team has delivered exceptionally high standards; from process and procedure to communication and compassion across all aspects of the Code of Considerate Practice. With this in mind, it has been honoured with both a Gold and Most Considerate Site award.

Project Highlights

Community engagement has remained a key priority at the site throughout its construction journey, with a detailed engagement plan that includes: a dedicated information centre and schedule of community events to disseminate project information to the public; and regular onsite meetings and seminars at schools and colleges to connect the scheme to students.

The project team has also established a clear commitment to protecting and enhancing the environment, landscape and ecology, with a thorough environmental policy, ambitious targets and extensive energy-saving measures.

Taking steps to provide a safe working environment, the site scored highly in all matters relating to its workforce as well.

Southsea Coastal Scheme Volkerstevin and Boskalis Westminster construction site

Innovations & Best Practices

The project team also went above and beyond at the project by embracing best practices to better performance and champion high standards. The team introduced 4 best practice initiatives to support various goals, including local stakeholder engagement, biodiversity, manual handling procedures and minimising disruption.

Respecting the Community

Community engagement has been at the forefront of the project, with a detailed engagement plan that championed community engagement and feedback loops to ensure that all stakeholders were continually engaged.

The site team has also shown great care and compassion, going above and beyond the project scope to support local businesses, including The Briny Restaurant, a local seaside attraction. Located adjacent to the scheme, the team replaced an entire area of outside space, constructing large windows to ensure diners could still see the view, and designed site hoardings to advertise the restaurant.

Caring for the Environment

Committed to protecting and enhancing the environment, landscape and ecology, the project also established a clear environmental policy with extensive energy-saving measures and ambitious targets. Initiatives included the use of local suppliers and the implementation of battery-powered vacuum lifters to cut diesel fumes and noise disruption.

Biodiversity net gain has also been paramount, as work continues in conjunction with the Blue Marine Foundation through the ‘Green the UK’ initiative to restore 200sqm of native oysters that have disappeared from The Solent due to overfishing.

Southsea Coastal Scheme Volkerstevin and Boskalis Westminster Award Winners

Valuing the Workforce

Taking steps to provide a safe working environment, the site also scored highly in all matters relating to its workforce. Its initiatives for mental wellbeing have been exceptional and include: the implementation of a balanced scheduling of work and provision of a recharge room for quiet contemplation. Furthermore, the company actively supports disadvantaged groups with opportunities to encourage greater participation in construction.

Regular safety reviews have been undertaken without exception, with all site activities meticulously assessed using detailed method statements. Innovations in safety continue to prevail, including the use of fenders and shove-it tools to prevent injury and damage during the lifting and installation process.

The high scores achieved for this project are a true testament to the ambition and commitment demonstrated by the teams at VSBW.

Award Level

More about this project on the Construction Map