DOZENS of residents attended a meeting to share their views over a multimillion-pound scheme for a Romsey beauty spot.

They packed into the town’s Crosfield Hall to voice their concerns over a £6m scheme for two new bridges and spillways to be built along The Causeway in the town.

The proposals, designed to prevent flooding, have been drawn up by the Environment Agency and Hampshire County Council and were given a mixed reaction by residents.

A number of issues were raised including how changing the water flow in The Causeway will affect the river bank, the footpath which will be inaccessible to pedestrians when the work is carried out, and others said they thought there had been a lack of consultation time.

Ted Mason, 79, who has lived in Romsey for 35 years, said: “I agree that this needs to be put in place, but I think this is just an answer to the immediate problem because climate change means that rainfall is only going to increase.”

Another resident who asked not to be named described the plans as a “sticking plaster”.

Penne Edwards, 62, a resident of The Causeway who also farms on the neighbouring land said: “The impact this will have is enormous, it’s sad it is happening and it will affect my business, I just hope it doesn’t look too bad.”

However other residents welcomed the plans.

Steve Langford, who has lived in Romsey for 11 years, said: “It is a stunning scheme and it is a shame it’s taken five years. Romsey by its nature is vulnerable to flooding but I’m delighted with the plans.”

Cllr John Parker said: “I am very grateful to the Environment Agency and Hampshire County Council for presenting the plans for the Romsey Alleviation Project at this public meeting.

“It is very important that the general public know what is happening to protect Romsey from future floods and what the work programme is to make these improvements.

“Inevitably there is a balance to be struck between maintaining our heritage and protecting Romsey from floods.

“I hope people will be happy the right balance has been struck.”

Work is set to start in April and it will be completed by November. The Causeway will be closed to vehicles and pedestrians between the end of May and the end of August.

Environment bosses are working on a signposted foot diversion to link Mainstone to Saddlers Mill and they also confirmed that residents of The Causes will be able to access their property via a temporary road.

According to Rhian Edwards who spoke on behalf on the Environment Agency the scheme will better protect 186 properties in Romsey from flooding.