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West Solent Coastal Defence Strategy

Western Solent Coastal Defence Strategy

The Western Solent Coastal Strategy study area covers the north-west Solent shore from Hurst Spit to Calshot Spit, some 30km of shoreline. The 18 month Strategy study will provide the high level of detail required for decision making and action related to the provision and management of coastal defences for the next 100 years, and will assist planning and control future coastal development. It will also include detailed environmental and economic assessments of management options, and a range of technical solutions. The seaward limit is the 15mCD contour, and the landward limit is the extent of land at risk from erosion and flood damage to 2100. We received government grant aid for this Coastal Strategy in Nov 2003 and are therefore at an early stage of the study.

The West Solent Coastal Defence Strategy will therefore need to balance natural processes with the often conflicting socio-economic requirements of commercial, recreation and coastal defence needs and nature conservation interests. Making the right management decision on the coast is becoming increasingly important with the consequences of climate change and increasing living, working, recreation activities and tourism on the coast. The management decisions made not only affects the inhabitants and users of the coast but have a profound effect on the coastal processes.  The complexity of managing the coastline requires both managers and society to take an adaptive approach.


The principle objectives of the strategy are:

  • To assess the sustainability of the SMP management policies and produce alternative options where necessary
  • To identify where managed intervention may be required
  • To assess current condition & predict performance of existing coastal defences
  • To identify & quantify erosion/flood risk attached to each management option
  • To undertake a Strategic Environmental Assessment and identify implications of the plethora of environmental legislation
  • To provide fully costed programme of priority works for first 5 years


NFDC as lead authority for the study already works in partnership with a number of organisations on coastal management initiatives and schemes (e.g. DEFRA, the Environment Agency, English Nature, Hampshire & Wight Wildlife Trust, Hampshire County Council, Lymington Harbour Commissioners, Neighbouring Local Authorities, Interest Groups, landowners and the Public). Significant elements of the Study will be conducted in-house by the specialist Coastal team, in partnership with consultants and research establishments.

Updated: 23 Oct 2014
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