From a press release on the Defra website:
People who live and work in coastal communities are being invited to have their say in how their community can adapt to the challenges of coastal change and the impact this has on England’s coastline.
With the risk of coastal erosion and flooding set to increase over the next 100 years, the consultation published today by Defra examines what managing coastal change could look like for individuals, businesses, local infrastructure and the historic and natural environment. It also sets out ideas on how the Government can best support local communities.
Ideas on assistance for communities, which could include ‘buy and lease back’ schemes for homes that will be lost to coastal erosion and grants to cover demolition and moving costs, are also considered.
Views are being sought on other ideas on adapting to the effects of coastal change, including:
- how local businesses should be supported;
- adaptation options for important heritage sites on our coastline should be made; and
- how to plan for changes to roads and other key local infrastructure.
Environment Secretary Hilary Benn said:
“Coastal change and erosion threatens our coastal communities – and with a changing climate, those risks will only increase. We will defend where we can and we’re investing record amounts in protecting people and property. But the sea will inevitably shape and mould our coastline, as it has always done, and we need the views of those who will be directly affected by the changing coastline on how we can adapt.”
Mr Benn also launched an £11 million Coastal Change Fund, which gives local authorities the opportunity to ‘test-drive’ potential adaptation schemes in partnership with their local communities.
Successful local authorities will be able to use the fund to provide both immediate and long-term help to coastal communities. Schemes could range from helping restore coastal footpaths or maintain beach access points, to exploring innovative approaches where properties are at risk such as buy and lease back schemes.
Mr Benn said:
“These grants will help local authorities to find creative ways of managing coastal change, as well as providing more immediate help. These pilots will help us to test some of the ideas currently being considered, to ensure that the measures we adopt are the most effective and best suited to local communities.”
The consultation closes on 25 September 2009 and can be viewed at www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/coastal-change/index.htm