An ambition for Hayling Island seafront

An ambition for Hayling Island seafront image

The seafront has a heritage rich in watersports and it offers a high-quality natural environment. The local tourism sector has great potential to contribute to the local economy, attracting significant visitor spend and supporting over 4,500 jobs across the Borough. 

There are some key challenges:  

  1. Parts of the seafront are dated and require updating and investment
  2. The coastline is dynamic and vulnerable to coastal flooding and erosion, particularly during high tide and storm events.  
  3. The island geography can lead to congestion on the roads during peak times  
  4. The seasonality of the visitor offer means that the seafront is often crowded during peak times but quiet out of season  

Havant Borough Council wants to work with local residents, businesses and a range of other key stakeholders to develop and deliver ambitious and exciting plans to enhance the seafront and create an inspiring destination.  

Our ambition for Hayling Seafront builds on work undertaken by Hemingway Design (January 2019) and Mace (December 2019/20). It sets out a clear ambition and strategy for the future of the seafront.  It aims to enhance the range and quality of attractions, improve the environmental quality and urban design of the seafront and connect key attractors in ways that reflect the heritage of the island. Regeneration is focused at West Beach, Beachlands and Eastoke.

The ambition document image

We want to develop a new approach to managing the seafront to drive up the quality of the resident and visitor experience.

We want to explore opportunities to grow niche markets - such as watersports and activity holidays - improve access to the beach, including enhancements to the Billy Trail, strengthened connections across the seafront via new and enhanced cycle and walking routes facilitated by clear wayfinding signage.

We want to encourage high quality development and the creation of new facilities, including an improved leisure offer and a stronger commercial proposition – one that is sustainable in the long term and supported by a clear brand and identity. We want to protect and enhance the precious natural environment, and create a happy, healthy and vibrant place.

We have prepared an Ambition document, which builds on work undertaken by Hemingway Design (January 2019) and Mace (December 2019/20). It sets out an ambitious vision for the future of the seafront, accompanied with a comprehensive concept plan.

It aims to enhance the range and quality of attractions, improve the environmental quality and urban design of the seafront and connect key attractors in ways that reflect the heritage of the island and whilst being sensitive to what makes Hayling Island special. Regeneration is focused at West Beach, Beachlands and Eastoke.

A happy, healthy and vibrant place

Hayling Island Seafront is a key asset for the borough and a focus for regeneration and positive placemaking.

The seafront will become a focus for new investment to grow and sustain a thriving local economy that will transform the area to one that focuses on activity and experience-based tourism, which takes advantage of the natural qualities of the seafront.

The ambition for the seafront is supported by a series of Design Principles that are fundamental to supporting a long-term strategy for the coastal destination that both enhances and preserves:

  1. Create an exciting and modern seafront and marine leisure offer, supported by a strong brand, which increases the quality of the visitor experience and opportunities for visitor spend
  2. Improve sustainable access to the beach, including enhancements to the Billy Trail and improved connections across the seafront via new and enhanced cycle and walking routes, facilitated by clear wayfinding signage, moving towards less reliance on the car
  3. Protect the unique character of the coastal landscape and enhance the natural environment, supported by a high-quality public realm
  4. Any strategic approach will be responsive to climate issues, creating low carbon footprints, and will be proactive in protecting the coastline
  5. Create opportunities to support active lifestyles, health and well-being, where residents and visitors can experience the landscape through activities, including walking, cycling, running and watersports
  6. Create a new approach to managing the seafront to drive up the quality of the resident and visitor experience, and sustainable coastline.

Hayling seafront opportunities

An exciting opportunity exists to revitalise Hayling Island seafront, catering for the core local population, as well as attracting visitors and encouraging them to stay longer by providing a range of activities catering for all ages. West Beach, Beachlands and Eastoke provide hubs around which to focus regeneration activities, with the connections between them of equal importance.

Key opportunities include:

  • Improving the perception of the seafront through the creation of a clear brand and identity and addressing existing issues, such as waste collection and the quality of toilet facilities
  • Preserving and enhancing areas of wilderness and concentrating tourism and residential development in the three key activity hubs
  • A sensitive and targeted approach to investment, regenerating and improving the tourism economy and encouraging further commercial investment and job creation, creating a modern and exciting commercial offer
  • Improving access to and across the seafront, encouraging greater participation in healthy lifestyle activities, such as walking, cycling and watersports. This should include making the most of the Billy Trail to connect the seafront to the rest of the island, as well as with Havant town centre, providing stronger links to its catchment area
  • Better connections and improved public realm between the three activity hubs, through a looped network of foot and cycle paths, building upon the informal trails that already exist. Provision of shelters and seating along the seafront, with activities located along the journey between the hubs. A clear wayfinding strategy which identifies the three hubs of activity, their locations, the respective attractions and the routes and spaces along the Hayling Island Journey.

These opportunities should all be underpinned by a new and smarter way of managing the seafront, which addresses climate change through initiatives such as the creation of a plastic-free seafront, advocating the use of sustainable alternatives.

West Beach

Key principles have been developed for West Beach to become a focus for nature and activities:

  • A quiet, open, and natural area, preserving the existing character. Interventions will be subtle and modest, bedded within the environment. Creation of a wild landscape aesthetic
  • An innovative ‘Blue Park’, allowing greater access to water-based activities whilst protecting the environment and building on the history of watersports on the island
  • West Beach as a hub for health and well-being, enabling people to experience the landscape through a broad range of outdoor activities, providing an alternative experience to the typical tourist offer, as well as an excellent facility for residents
  • Introduction of artwork along the beachfront walk and nature walks referencing the island’s history. Incorporation of art within visual screens and berms to screen areas of parking, creating a more positive interaction between beach and car park
  • A multi-generational experience where people can come together and socialise and immerse in the natural beachfront environment.


Key principles have been developed for Beachlands that set it as a destination along the seafront:

  • Creation of an arrival experience that connects Hayling Island with the beach, becoming a destination in its own right
  • Provision of a new flexible public space for local markets, events, outdoor seating and views of the sea
  • Extension of the public realm to the Sea Front Road creating an improved gateway to the beach. A pedestrian friendly environment connects both sides of Sea Front
  • A formal section of the beachfront walk interacts with the proposed public square, with a feature promontory/accessible groyne extending to the waters edge
  • Beyond the areas of activity, the beachfront walk changes character to reflect the changing environment along the beach
  • Small scale and family friendly over-night or short stay opportunities overlooking the beach
  • Develop a coordinated approach to beach huts, including maximising sea views. The position of the beach huts also acts to screen parking areas.


Key principles have been developed for Eastoke that set it as a destination for both leisure and events, building on the previous public realm improvements and existing events:

  • Extending the public realm to provide a greater space for outdoor entertainment and events, creating new public outdoor seating and space, and creating a more pedestrian-friendly environment and reducing the presence of cars
  • Provision of outdoor kiosks create the opportunity a variety in modern food, drink and retail offering, creating a vibrant and lively place
  • Provision of a new beach bar or restaurant to help to create a modern relaxed beach environment that spills into the events space and onto the beach
  • Incorporation of new toilet and visitor facilities, which creates a new frontage to Sea Front Road and the events space
  • New high quality residential creates a new corner frontage to Sea Front Road and Rails Lane.

Hayling Island seafront next steps

There are several ways to get involved:

Exhibition days

Join us at our exhibition days at Hayling Island Community Centre on Station Road (Room 2) on Thursday 11th November 2021 at 2.00-5:30pm and Saturday 13th November 2021 at 10.00am - 1.00pm.


You can submit your views and comments via our online survey.

You can also make public comments on our mapping tool below.

Written comments

Drop your written comments off at Beachlands Information Centre, 7 Sea Front, Hayling Island, PO11 0AG or Public Service Plaza, Civic Centre Road, Havant, PO9 2AX 

All engagement will close on Sunday 21 November.

Comments submitted online will appear on the below map and can be viewed by clicking on the location placeholders.