Further to last summer’s Coastal Change Policy consultation that ran from 15th June to 25th September, DEFRA have today published a report summarising the 107 consultation responses received. They have also today published Adapting to Coastal Change: Developing a Policy Framework which takes forward some of the ideas on supporting community adaptation to coastal change that they consulted on last summer. Both documents are available online via http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/flooding/manage/coastalchange.htm.
Adapting to Coastal Change represents a staging post in the evolution of a policy framework on adapting to coastal change. CLG’s new Planning Policy Statement 25 Supplement: Development and Coastal Change that was published on 9th March, and the work of the 15 coastal change pathfinders that were announced on 1st December last year, are both key parts of this evolving picture. Lessons learned by the pathfinders will help inform future developments of this framework in the form of further guidance and/or policy. Further details about the pathfinders are available on the DEFRA website via http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/flooding/manage/pathfinder/index.htm.
Rob Young (coastal planner at North Norfolk District Council) looks for a new approach to coastal planning in the New Planning Policy on Development and Coastal Change consultation paper – article published in the Town & Country Planning Association Journal, October 2009
The coast is dynamic. That is, it changes – with the tides, with the seasons and with the climate; and so too should our approach to it, or so claims the recent Consultation on Coastal Change Policy, issued by Defra (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). This article explores some of the issues facing planners in coastal areas and examines the response to them in the Department for Communities and Local Government’s (DCLG’s) Consultation Paper on a New Planning Policy on Development and Coastal Change.
The construction of coast erosion and flood defences over the years has created the impression that resisting the action of the sea in particular locations will somehow achieve a static state within which we can act with certainty about the future. In the face of sea level rise, however, it has become all too apparent that this is a false assumption, and ‘coastal change’ has for the last two decades become an increasingly common phrase.
Many of our coastal resort towns grew in the 19th and 20th centuries behind flood and coastal defences (and the promenades that went with them) first engineered by wealthy Victorians. This was obviously not the first time the natural line of our coast had been manipulated; however, it was the Victorians who created, on a large scale at least, the process which is perhaps the root of many of the coastal challenges we face today: the cycle of defend-develop-defend. But protected settlements are only secure from erosion if the defences can be maintained, which with rising sea level becomes technically more challenging and increasingly more expensive to achieve.
Read the full article
“Coastal views – Shoreline Management Plans in sight”
That’s the headline from one section of the Aummer 2009 edition of Floodnews, a quarterly business briefing for professionals whose work is affected by flood and coastal erosion issues.
The second series of Shoreline Management Plans are now securing approval, and publication of the completed documents has begun.
Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs) report on the natural evolution of the coast and the predicted impacts on the environment using three epochs: 20, 50 and 100 years into the future. They help set the long-term planning and investment for coastal defences.
To coincide with the release of SMPs, we are preparing complementing online information to show the areas of the English and Welsh coastline at risk of erosion. The information
will show the impact of erosion and agreed management policies for England and Wales. Our modelling uses the latest scientific data and the most recent UK Climate Projections 2009 (UKCP09). (more…)
It is perhaps appropriate to recognise the extent and complexity of the possible problems facing the UK Government (irrespective of political persuasion) in managing the coast through what science is telling us may well be a significant and prolonged period of climate change. Of paramount importance will be our adopted Governance and how we manage our way through that period in the interests of all our people.
The coast is, of course, in the absolute front line of climate change where sea level rise and more unpredictable weather patterns could have a significant impact on communities within the coastal zone.
Read the full response to Defra’s Consultation on Coastal Change Policy by the Coastal Concern Action Group on the CCAG website.
The consultation on ‘ Coastal Change Policy’ was launched by DEFRA in June 2009 . The document set out DEFRA’s ideas for how coastal communities can successfully adapt to the impacts of coastal change and Government’s role in supporting this . All official Consultees were invited to respond by 25 September 2009.
DOC has provided DEFRA with a detailed response on behalf of its members and has urged all relevant Local Authorities to do the same. At the end of the consultation period copies of all responses received by Defra will be made publicly available through their Information Resource Centre in London.
Following the consultation, the Government will analyse the responses and draft a final version of the policy. Government’s aim is to publish this revised policy in 2010.
Read the full response from Defend Our Coast on the DOC website
“Communities are central to coastal management”
That’s the headline from one section of the summer 2009 edition of Floodnews, a quarterly business briefing for professionals whose work is affected by flood and coastal erosion issues.
‘People in coastal communities have homes and businesses that they cherish. Living by the sea is part of their identity; for many it has been a defining characteristic of their family life for generations.
‘Flood risk and erosion, and their increasing threats, are emotionally tough. It strikes at the heart of personal happiness, lives and futures. Our work to consult and communicate with these communities needs to be at its very best. We are here to give them and local authorities every support we can.’ (North West Flood and Coastal Risk Manager Pete Fox) (more…)
From the Natural England website:
In the Norfolk Broads report, Natural England confirms its support for the current policy to maintain the current line of defence on the Eccles-Winterton stretch of coast, for at least 50 years, re-iterating that it is an adviser on flood risk policy and not the final decision-maker.
Summary report: Responding to the impacts of climate change on the natural environment: The Broads – a summary
The Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ latest environment theme report is Climate Change: Adapting to the Inevitable? It considers the possible climate changes which we may expect over the next 1,000 years due to continuing CO2 emissions, and recommends what engineers need to do to adapt to our future world so that we can cope with these changes.
Man’s activities are causing the world’s climate to change rapidly. Although many nations will be able to cope with the impacts of climate change in the short term, albeit at a cost, long term, it will be a very different story. Global governments will be meeting in November 2009 to agree a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, proposing reducing global carbon dioxide emissions by mitigation.
However, as global emissions are not reducing and the climate is changing, the more pragmatic approach, as suggested by the Institution, is that only by adapting our behaviour can we hope to secure long-term human survival. We have to look at how engineers might help our world to adapt to changes over the next few centuries. (more…)
‘A strategy for promoting an integrated approach to the management of coastal areas in England’ has been published by DEFRA. It sets out the Government’s vision for coastal management, objectives and actions to achieve the vision, and briefly explains how all the changes currently being taken forward will work together in coastal areas.