The strategic management framework for coast protection, as set out by govt requires all coastal local authorities to develop Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs), and subsequently Coastal Defence Strategies. (See Related Media - Coastal Strategy 2001 for further details). Although the management framework for this approach is non-statutory, any organisation that does not participate within the SMP management framework will not be awarded grant aid towards the costs of coast protection schemes.
Strategic coastal management aims to:-
- reduce risks to people, life and property
- reduce risks to the developed and natural environment from flooding and coastal erosion
- preserve the character of the area and the region
- inform planning process and control development in the coastal zone
Management Policy Options
When considering what is the most effective way of managing the coastline a range of options must be considered. These policies provide the basic policy framework for Coast Protection and are also used to inform planning policy with the District Local Plan, identifying zones at risk from erosion. In strategic terms there are four management policy options that may be assigned to each Management Unit; these are:
- hold the existing defence line
- advance the defence line
- managed retreat (may involve removing or not maintaining some defences to allow the coastline to find its natural realignment, or to create important habitats)
The Western Solent & Southampton Water Shoreline Management Plan (1998) developed coastal defence policies for the Western Solent and Southampton Water frontages. The means of achieving these policies will be identified and progressed through the development of a Coastal Defence Strategy for the Western Solent frontage extending from Hurst Spit to Calshot Spit.
Implementation of Shoreline Management Plans and Coastal Defence Strategies is tasked to designated coastal protection (NFDC) and flood defence (Environment Agency) operating authorities.