Living with a changing coastline: Exploring new forms of governance for sustainable coastal futures

Tim O’Riordan Andrew Watkinson Jessica Milligan

July 2006
Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research Technical Report 49


Living with a changing coastline:
Exploring new forms of governance for sustainable coastal futures
Tyndall Centre Technical Report No. 49 July 2006 This is the final report from Tyndall research project IT3.43 (Living with a changing coastline: Exploring new forms of governance for sustainable coastal futures). The following researchers worked on this project: Prof Tim O’Riordan, Tyndall Centre, School of Environmental Sciences, UEA Prof Andrew Watkinson, Tyndall Centre, School of Environmental Sciences, UEA Jessica Milligan, Tyndall Centre, School of Environmental Sciences, UEA

Abstract The research project ‘Living with a changing coastline: exploring new forms of governance for sustainable coastal futures” examines the existing arrangements for coastal governance in England and puts forward recommendations on how to achieve more effective and sustainable management of these coastlines. Decision-making about the coast is occurring at a dynamic time in a period of impending sea level rise, unusual patterns of coastal current, wave action and sediment movement new and changing official policy, and greater expectations of inclusive public involvement. The key conclusion from the project is that there must be a profound public recognition of how and why coastlines are changing and the likelihood that these changes will get greater. There also needs to be improved dialogue between the multitudes of stakeholders who are affected by coastal change. It is apparent that social issues, as well as economic and environmental matters need to be carefully considered. For example, the issue of compensation/reimbursement needs to be set within a wider framework of adaptive management tools in order to help communities’ accommodate in the very long term to a changing coastline. Without meaningful mechanisms to help coastal communities to adjust to a changing coastline, there may be no civil recognition of coastal change, and no effective central policy. The study concluded that the process of establishing a fully acceptable and effective management arrangement for eroding and flooding coasts in England will require even more evolution in policy and practice than is presently the case. Coastal hazard mapping of possible future coastlines need to be developed with wide-ranging public understanding. These maps should have the force of long term planning controls based on best case risk assessments. Arrangements for assisting coastal communities to adapt to the loss of property and the relocation of communities require policy measures and funding far beyond the current financial provisions for coastal flood


management. Test cases involving meaningful dialogue and experimental practices should be put in motion with EU funding supporting UK investment.

Keywords Coastal management; governance; stakeholder involvement; coastal change; decision-making


Section 1 Overview of project work and outcomes


Overview of project work and outcomes
The research project Living with a changing coastline: exploring new forms of governance for sustainable coastal futures examines the existing arrangements of coastal governance in England and puts forward recommendations on how to achieve more effective and sustainable management of these coastlines. Decision-making about the coast is occurring at a dynamic time with a multitude of coastal issues, new and changing policy and greater public involvement. The study highlighted: • • • • the varying arrangements for coastal governance in England the complexity of dealing with a changing coastline social justice issues such as fairness of treatment and compensation the need for a national framework for sustainable coastal management, but local delivery

The project Steering Group was comprised of Tyndall Researchers, and representatives of the funding bodies; the Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra), English Nature, North Norfolk District Council, and the Environment Agency. Three policy workshops were held to address the question “How to manage the coastline sustainably?” Each of these three workshops focused on different but interrelated issues, and the three workshops can be seen as building upon the understanding and knowledge obtained from each other. The three areas of research were nature conservation and a changing coastline, determining Shoreline Management Plans, focussing particularly on SMP 3b in Norfolk and the stakeholder engagement model it used, and strategic coastal governance arrangements. The key conclusion from the project is that there must be an acceptance of changing coastlines and the fact that they are increasingly dynamic. There also needs to be improved dialogue between the multitudes of stakeholders who are affected by coastal issues. It is also apparent that social issues, as well as economic and environmental issues need to be carefully considered. For example, the issue of compensation/reimbursement needs to be set within a wider framework of adaptive management tools in order to help communities’ accommodate to a changing coastline. This project continued a growing practice in Tyndall to bring in key stakeholders right to the heart of the research process. The Steering Group represented both the funding stake in the study and the policy delivery of the outputs of the study. Throughout the whole research process, the Steering Group, commenting individually and more formally as a collective body, guided and responded to the research process. This is a valuable model to follow and will be continued in further aspects of this work.

Key objectives
To examine the scope for altering existing arrangements of coastal governance and for devising possible new patterns of management best suited to meet the needs of creating sustainable coastal futures. This is addressed in terms of ecological comprehensiveness, effective stakeholder involvement, and best value for money and technical/ecological robustness.


To establish evaluation criteria that are interdisciplinary, transparent and co-designed by all stakeholders to undertake this task, of assessing the best governing “fit” for sustainable coastal management. To provide a credible basis for future policy decisions, involving all relevant stakeholders and other interested parties as the basis for continued evolution and negotiation..

Work undertaken
This study was initiated on the North Norfolk coast from Kelling to Lowestoft (the area covered by Shoreline Management Plan 3b). It involved the district authorities, inclusive stakeholder interviewing and meetings, interaction with other Tyndall research teams, and a series of policy workshops to create the final recommendations. Following the creation of a Steering Group involving representatives from the Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra), English Nature, North Norfolk District Council and Environment Agency, a literature review on the state of coastal and shoreline management in England including current studies and policies was carried out. This desk study formed the first section of the Working Paper for the first Stakeholder Workshop which took place in July 2004 and focused on the issues relating to how conservation bodies, notably English Nature, are dealing with and communicating the concept of a changing coastline. The research focussed primarily on the North Norfolk coastal section. This had been selected because the lead investigator had been approached to serve on the Extended Steering Group for the review of the second generation Shoreline Management Plan for this area: SMP3b. Hence, it was intended to integrate this research with the current review of the SMP. A second policy workshop focussing on the issues of Shoreline Management Planning, stakeholder involvement in the SMP 3b process, and compensation took place in October 2004 at the NNDC offices. The final workshop, for Defra, took place in January 2005 and focussed on coastal governance arrangements, participation in coastal management decision-making, planning and working with coastal communities to adapt to a changing coastline. For each of the three workshops a working paper was prepared and sent to workshop participants beforehand to stimulate responsive discussion and debate. The information was gathered by means of extensive review of current literature/documents (both academic and “grey” literature) and observation of meetings. It also involved three sets of strategic interviews (some face-to-face and others by telephone) with stakeholders. These included landowners, coastal owners of conservation and amenity, farming organisations, local authority coastal managers, communitybased organisations, regional authorities and public agencies locally, regionally and nationally, and a range of academic and policy specialists. The methodology associated with this project operated through four connected processes: i. Close study of all relevant documents linked to evolving official strategies for various aspects of coastal management as advanced by Defra, the Environment Agency, English Nature, maritime local authorities, and coastal land managing wildlife and conservation organisations. ii. Detailed interviews with a wide range of key individuals set in the context of the document, and various approaches to coastal management as drawn from experience and for the wide literature, including evidence from the European continent. These interviews were detailed, ordered and structured to reflect the institutional and documentary setting for eliciting appropriate information. iii. Discussions with coastal residents’ groups who are actively involved with responding to proposed or possible shoreline management plans. These groups are led by individuals who either adopt a lead role, or who are representatives by means of affiliation (e.g. Parish officials or leaders of designated coastal action groups).


iv. Exclusive preparation for three highly initiative workshops, each focussed on the lead financing institution (English Nature, North Norfolk District Council, Defra, Environment Agency). These workshops were designed to respond to preliminary working papers and to act as challenge theatre for detailed negotiation. In each case both a special working paper was generated and will form part of the Tyndall Working Paper Series, and a refereed journal article will be prepared. In every case the primary interests attached to each workshop endorsed the contents of the working papers for their accuracy of record. The research approach was guided by a steering/working group drawn from a number of bodies. These were English Nature, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural affairs (Defra), North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) and the Environment Agency (EA) as well as being closely interactive with policy and planning groups, plus local community stakeholders. This research is notable in its use of “action research” to investigate stakeholders’ understandings and expectations for coastal management of dynamic coasts and feed this back to policy bodies (via the workshops and Working Papers). It aimed to address the policy questions relating to coastal management in England by means of open stakeholder dialogue. We commend this unusual and more effective approach to future research of this nature in Tyndall/CSERGE. The key lies in joint funding so there is leverage for all parties in the “gearing” of funds to the project as a whole. Also, each partner is committed to designing an outcome that reflects their interests but respects the significance of others’ needs and policy requirements. Above all, the research must remain independent and trust-based. This is a cardinal virtue of this process. The research focussed primarily on the North Norfolk coastal section. The first Stakeholder Workshop which took place in July 2004 and focused on the issues relating to how conservation bodies, such as English Nature, are dealing with and communicating the concept of a changing coastline. A second policy workshop focussing on the issues of Shoreline Management Planning, stakeholder involvement in the SMP 3b process, and compensation took place in October 2004 at the NNDC offices. The final workshop, for Defra, took place in January 2005 and focussed on the following issues: coastal governance arrangements, participation in coastal management decisionmaking, planning and working with coastal communities to adapt to a changing coastline. The generally supportive response to our work by the spectrum of stakeholders we interviewed suggests a willingness for people to engage in debate on coastal change issues. This was also evident in the response to public meetings and workshops. For example, over 70 people turned up to the Public Meeting in Wells held in collaboration with the North Norfolk Coastal Advisory Group. Similarly, we had large numbers of people involved in the workshops in Peterborough, Cromer and London, with the response to the first two of these being particularly positive. This project was very unique and as a result of it there has been a greater understanding between interested parties than there existed a year ago. In general, people want to engage through reports and dialogue. As already stated the coastal policy arena has changed significantly during the projects duration with such new documents as the Sustainable Development Strategy, Defra’s "Making space for water" document, English Nature’s Maritime Strategy and the creation of the new organisation Natural England. The area of coastal management is moving target and we could not have predicted these changes at the start of the project but have, however, managed to incorporate them into the project. Hence, the project allowed an opening up of the issues and just keeping up with the rapidly changing situation for coastal governance was important in itself. The project is much more subtle than just producing reports, which although they are important outputs, must also recognise how critical outcomes such as better communication between groups and greater understanding of issues. This unique project brought together individuals from all facets of coastal management who may not have been in contact otherwise and opened-up discussion on issues that may not have been


so openly addressed in the past (for example, integrated planning matters and the compensation/adaptation debate).

The research involved strategic interviews, workshops and public meetings. These provided valuable information yet highlighted the difficulties for coastal management in England. One of the most striking features is the lack of a national framework for sustainable coastal management. Coastal governance is a major area of policy flux, with a continuing process of consultation, growing unease by local authorities and coastal forums, and a need to reconsider the whole mechanism of adaptation. There is also a lack of a coherent cooperative approach between the elected and statutory bodies with no coordinated approach to policy, funding and stakeholder dialogue. What is needed is a major commitment to the comprehensiveness of coastline management, involving people, viable local economies, and coastal dynamism reflecting changing natural processes. This will inevitably involve a much more intensive approach to community dialogue. There is a gap between previous history of “delivery” and the future of “non delivery” The different costs of delivery, means that a much more thoughtful and preparatory approaches to shoreline management is required.

Key Issues 1. The Tyndall Research team have the trust and good-will of all parties 2. Defra are going through a re-evaluation of coastal management strategies 3. The UK Sustainable Development Strategy 2005-2009 could set new patterns of funding and coordination 4. The SMPs are being rethought and time is needed for a statutory process linked to a likely review of the Coastal Protection Act and the Marine Bill (Draft), plus the delicate issues of joint compensation and shared responsibility 5. Evaluation procedures require: a. b. c. Good science based on effective and sensitive understanding of comprehensive ecosystem functioning Inclusive, trust-based, and authentic, approaches to public dialogue and responsive communication Long term, integrated, evolving, and sustainable approaches to all-round coastal management moving out beyond Defra-focussed flood and erosion management frameworks

Relevance to Tyndall Centre research strategy and overall Centre objectives
The role of this Tyndall research project was to allow integrated research to be completed which was both interactive with stakeholders and policy relevant. This research project fits most closely to the sustaining the coastal zone Research Theme (RT4) and makes an important contribution to the science of integration and to the RT4 objective of understanding the natural processes and human activities around the coastline. In addition, it has helped to inform other research projects within the “Sustaining the coastal zone” Research Theme by providing up-to-date information on the policy framework for coastal management and shared information. This proposal fits into RT3 in adapting to climate change by looking at fresh means to evaluate new coastal planning, compensation, financing and management procedures. It also has relevance to RT1 and the integrated interactive assessment procedures being developed.


This project has also had important research outcomes (as opposed to the project outputs) linked to the working papers and workshops that lay at the heart of its operation. It has benefited the wider community because it has aimed to meet their needs of sustainable coastal communities by measures which are inclusive, fair, adaptive, and robust. There has been a close connection here with the Norfolk County Council, the Norfolk Coast Project (NCP) covering the North Norfolk Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the North Norfolk Coastal Advisory Group and the two district authorities of North Norfolk and Great Yarmouth. As such it has engaged a multitude of stakeholders in the discussions of how to deal with a changing coastline and also to increase the level of trust and understanding between different organizations and also between these organizations and coastal stakeholders via the workshops and other meetings that took place. The Tyndall team has the trust of local people and the Steering Group. This trust is central to effective participation.

Potential for further work
This project has taken into account and incorporated the changes which have occurred within the policy framework for coastal management in England. As such, it has kept up to date with the changes in national flood and coastal erosion risk management arrangements. Over the past year numerous new consultation documents, such as the Defra “Making space for water” and the English Nature “Maritime Strategy” have been put out to consultation. We propose an extension to the current study to focus on communication issues for English Nature with particular regard to their Maritime Strategy. This would advise English Nature on principles and strategies to enhance meaningful stakeholder involvement in decision-making over long-term wildlife management. This would provide examples of best practice and techniques for working with communities and how to achieve successful stakeholder dialogue. We also recommend that research be extended to further investigate the Shoreline Management Plan process of stakeholder engagement, not only for SMP 3b (Kelling to Lowestoft), but also for other second generation SMP pilot draft plans around the country where assistance will be required to achieve true stakeholder engagement. This would involve a critical evaluation of participatory methods and fresh approaches to the involvement of a variety of genuinely interested parties and legitimate stakeholders in the second generation of the Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs) involving a number of sensitive areas of the English coastline. Underlying all this will be a first approach to exploring the options for managing the political and social transitions of a changing coastline. This will address the issues of reimbursement, compensation and comprehensive planning conducted through the case studies. All this will be set in the policy framework that emerges from the Defra consultation process, and further, detailed case studies.

Communication highlights
• 3 journal papers in preparation for submission 2005 English Nature Working Paper for Land Use Policy “Engaging stakeholders for new coastal wildlife futures” NNDC Working Paper for the Journal of Environmental Planning & Management “Challenges facing SMPs in England” Defra Working Paper for Environment & Planning C “Governance for a sustainable coastline in England”



• 3 Tyndall Working Papers/ Workshop Papers (See Appendices) • 3 research/workshop minutes circulated to workshop participants.


• 3 Steering Group Minutes • Presentation to English Nature Coastal Action Group, Devon, June 2004 • Presentation to ELOISE Coastal Conference, Slovenia, November 2004 • Public Meetings on coastal issues at Wells-next-the-sea (May, 2004) and Acle (September, 2004) • English Nature Magazine Article • Project mentioned in Defra “Making space for water” consultation document (Paragraph 15.23) • Tim O’Riordan interviewed for Eastern Daily Press (EDP) after 1st October Workshop • Glaven Valley meetings to discuss potential for Glaven Trust • Winterton-on-sea Liaison Group Meeting (February 2005) • Tim O’Riordan chaired session on Coastal Futures (February 2005) for CoastNET • Presentation to Alde and Ore Estuary Planning Partnership (June2005)


Section 2 Technical Report


Technical Report
“At a glance”
Changing policy setting Coastal management policy and practice are going through a revolution in England and Wales. This is essential, given the increasing level of knowledge about current and future climate change, the need to ensure adaptability and a more holistic approach and the emergence of longer term policy making. This progressive transformation of policy is made more challenging due to the degree of expectation amongst most coastal residents that a ‘hold the line’ tactic will be maintained. For some twenty years, despite the long-held political and legal position that coastal defence is a discretionary responsibility for central and local government and the various responsible executive agencies, local residents and businesses have come to expect that “hold the line” is a feasible and preferred option. Admittedly, there has never been any official commitment to such a conclusion, but this is the overwhelming public expectation. Given the 13 billion of property and local economies involved in “at risk” coastal area, this is hardly surprising. The Government is increasingly proactive in its approach to coastal change. Flood and coastal defence formed an element of the Foresight work commissioned by the Office of Science and Technology. The report ‘Future Flooding’ (Evans et al, 2004) created a challenging vision of the future to ensure effective coastal change strategies being put into place immediately. The “Making space for water” consultation by Defra in 2004 took on board some of the conclusions of the Future Flooding’ report and these are acknowledged in the Government’s official response to the consultation in 2005 (Defra, 2005). Managing risk at the coast needs to fit within the context of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM). The ICZM stocktake was carried out and published by Defra in March 2004. English Nature has also developed a new Maritime Strategy, with the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders, to complement and support these other initiatives (English Nature, 2005). A key part of the vision set out in the strategy is for plans and management measures to be in place to allow habitats to adapt to long-term coastal evolution. The second generation of Shoreline Management Plans include new approaches to public consultation. In addition, there is a proposal for the introduction of a comprehensive Marine Bill, and an indication that there will be a review of the 1949 Coast Protection Act. Aims and who involved This Working Paper summarises the main findings of the Tyndall-CSERGE research project ‘Living with a changing coastline: exploring new forms of governance for sustainable coastal futures”. This 18 month study examined the existing arrangements of coastal governance in England and put forward recommendations on how to achieve more effective and sustainable management of these coastlines. Decision-making about the coast is occurring at a dynamic time with a multitude of inter-connected coastal issues still not drawn together, new and changing policy settings and a need for greater and much more effective “in-depth” public involvement. The research took place during a period of policy flux and rapidly changing strategy position papers. It was financed in part by the North Norfolk District Council, English Nature, and the Flood Management Division of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). In addition, the Environment Agency was closely involved. All of these organisations were undergoing significant shifts in policy and operation practice during the period of the study. The establishment of a Steering Group to work with the research programme helped to guide the sequence of workshops that provided the stepping stones to the evolution of the research. This integrated and interactive relationship is commended for other researchers to follow in this style of challenging policy flux involving a number of linked bodies. The study highlighted: • The changing arrangements for coastal governance in England


• • •

The complexity of dealing with a changing coastline in a period of social anxiety and dynamic coastal change Social issues such as fairness of treatment and compensation in relation to flooding and erosion of soft coastlines The need for national framework for sustainable coastal management to provide the basis for locally mediated solutions

Raising awareness This unique project brought together individuals from all facets of coastal management who may not have been in contact otherwise and opened-up discussion on issues that may not have been so openly addressed in the past (for example, planning in relation to the very long term, and the compensation/adaptation debate). The project succeeded in raising awareness and provided a focal point for discussions between key partners and stakeholders. In all of this work, the research team sought to remain independent. The aim was to assess the issues outlined above as seen by each of these interests, to hold open and inclusive workshops with the three main sponsors, English Nature, North Norfolk District Council and Defra, and to report to all interests via working papers, minutes of meetings and informal discussions. The hallmarks of this research were openness, listening and responding, by undertaking creative negotiations and a sense of perspective between the needs of the present and the possibilities of the future. Influence on wider policy The project may have had an influence on the Defra “Making space for water” Official Ministerial Response. Not only is the Tyndall project named in the consultation document for “Making space for Water”, but the actual title of Chapter 8 in the Ministerial Response on coasts is “Living with the changing coast”. The issues covered in the “Living with a changing coastline” project are reflected in the discussion of this section of the Ministerial Response document where it acknowledges that there are no easy answers to successful coastal management but that more work and research evidence are needed to establish a “tool-kit” of measures to enable local people and their economics to adjust to differing levels of defence and risk. Providing an evidence base as to how this tool kit may be developed forms a continuing element of this research. The Tyndall work also provided valuable information for the English Nature (EN) Maritime Strategy, and the process of the research itself was important in allowing for a broadening of horizons and provided data that can be built upon in that Maritime Strategy. Moreover, this research has been influential on the thinking of the Anglia Division of the Environment Agency its push for special experimental schemes of adaptive coastal management on one or more parts of the East Anglian coast.


Box 1: Key recommendations from project The project team advocate: 1. A widening of the Defra coastal management and ICZM remits to emerging the broader sustainability agenda and funding 2. Scope for linking sustainable coastal governance to sustainable coastal community well-being 3. Connections between ecosystem functioning and local well-being in the design of community engagement 4. The use of trust-based, and independently facilitated, approaches to community by community involvement in shoreline management planning, linked to a clear national strategic framework for risk-based planning, coastal hazard mapping, creative visualisations of possible future coastal configurations, and innovative coastal delivery partnerships 5. Local solutions, local governance within an agreed strategic framework for sustainable coastal futures. These should be locally fashioned, sensitive to coastal cultures and histories, which nestle within a national strategic sustainability framework, yet be fashioned by local people through creative coastal partnerships. 1. Coastal science and maritime ecosystems i. Coasts should be managed for a 100 year time period, with all the range of uncertainties inherent in such long term planning. Each 100 year risk assessment should be re-evaluated every five years, as a matter of course, with every new Shoreline Management Plan (Defra, Environment Agency) ii. Worst case assumptions should be made about coastal design with scope for assuming loss of beach frontages, difficulty of restoring or recreating foreshore via mud, tidal creeks, salt marshes, dunes and coastal grasslands and wetlands. (English Nature and Natural England, Environment Agency) Natural processes of soft coast inundation and recreation should be allowed to evolve. These should be integrated with, and paid for, through appropriate use of environmental stewardship schemes. There should be a duty of care expanded for all existing property ownership so that fresh water and marine ecosystems evolve with the scope for establishing recreation and local economic activity. (English Nature and Natural England, Environment Agency) The precautionary principle should be applied to the scope for recreating shoreline ecosystems. It cannot be guaranteed that tidal marshes, salt marshes, dunes, wetlands, and buffering zones can be readily and reliably established in a reasonably short space of time. There will need to be appropriate funding and monitoring of such experiments linked to the implementation of English Nature’s Maritime Strategy and paid for by joint programmes between the official coastal management monies and English Nature coastal biodiversity budgets. (English Nature)




Box 1: Key recommendations from project (cont.) 1. Coastal science and maritime ecosystems (cont.) v. Images of possible future coastlines should be used, creatively and interactively, to show local residents, elected members and businesses how a future coastline may evolve, and what part they can play in establishing a co-operative responsibility for the coastline. We support the proposals of paragraph 9.2 of the Ministerial Response to promote the role of visualisation and demonstration of future coastal alignments. (Maritime Authorities, Shoreline Planning Partnerships) When cliffs erode to generate scientifically provable sediment flows elsewhere on the coastal system, then negotiated consideration should be given for financial support for loss of property in such zones, with some of this income coming from the flood defence budget. In essence, adaptation funding should be made available for financing the relocation of properties on retreating cliffs, where the sediment generated serves a beneficial coastal management function. (Defra, Environment Agency, Maritime Authorities) When cliff erosion causes loss of property and there is no guarantee that the resulting sediment will provide a coastal management benefit elsewhere, consideration should be given to extending the time period of protection during which negotiated opportunities are offered to enable residents and property owners to adjust to a changing coastline. This is when more expanded use of sustainability strategies and funding should be considered. There is scope for generating and using carbon taxation revenues, local well-being powers and community sustainable development strategy resources, and even more opportunity for a fresh approach to local trust funds derived from planning permission and roll-back of coastal communities. (Defra, HM Treasury, ODPM) The application of a coastal trust fund requires more attention and research. This would have to be set in a nationally agreed framework, but locally negotiated solutions. The fund could eventually be furnished by income from benefiting communities’ down-current via a link in council tax revenue or transfer benefits. It could also be financed by special levies on planning permission in hazard zones where permitted development gains value for the new natural resource assets created by coastal realignment. (Defra, HM Treasury, ODPM)





Box 1: Key recommendations from project (cont.)

2. Flood hazard mapping i. The Environment Agency is currently preparing 25, 50 and 100 year coastal flood hazard maps. These should be prepared with the robustness of the best scientific evidence available, with the worst case clearly monitored, but with focussed indication of the uncertainty attributed to each of the hazard zones. (Environment Agency, Defra) ii. Local people and elected authorities should coordinate with the Environment Agency, English Nature (and its successor Natural England) to ensure that the finally determined flood hazard maps of all coasts are understood and recognised by all parties involved. (Shoreline Planning Partnerships) These flood hazard maps should become part of the statutory shoreline management plans. They should be made widely available to all residents, local authorities, property agents, and planning consultants. We endorse the Ministerial Response (p35) in this regard. (ODPM, Environment Agency) The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister should amend the Planning Policy Guidance Note for coastal zone management (PPG25) so that the planning guidelines forbid any new or extended development in such zones, unless it is absolutely clear that the onus of flood protection lies with the developer or owner. In general, however, there should be a statutory presumption against any change in property use in such zones. We would push Ministers further than they seem prepared to go in their response (p22, paragraph 4.7) by proposing a co-decision between Local Planning Authorities and the Environment Agency. This advances the notion of Environment Agency primary responsibility for coastal flood management in the longer term, but only through effective delivery partnerships. (ODPM, Defra, Environment Agency)




Box 1: Key recommendations from project (cont.) 3. Adaptation to a changing coastline i. There can be no general presumption in favour of blanket compensation for any property owner facing loss of property due to coastal change or and alteration of coastal management policy. ii. Where property is affected by possible future flooding, there should be scope for making creative contributions to the adaptation of property ownership to a changing coastline. This might take the form of various adaptation strategies: a. Where erosion or realignment has a clear coastal management benefit elsewhere in the integrated coastal zone b. Where property ownership is long lasting (say 20 years or more) and where various creative monies for regional funds, sustainability programmes, or local trust funds might be made available c. Where contributions might be made for biodiversity programmes, agrienvironment stewardship schemes and habitat re-creation or habitat compensation schemes. For low lying agricultural land capable of being converted to salt marsh on tidal systems, variation of the higher level scheme under the new agrienvironment regulations should be introduced to provide appropriate financial incentives to joint agreements for long term coastal change. Such arrangements should be approved by the proposed Natural England Agency and be brought into the emerging Shoreline Management Plans. When property is being lost to cliff erosion, the following possibilities should be considered: a. When there is evidence of sediment value elsewhere, then some financial recognition should be offered from the flood defence budget. b. Where there is no immediate sediment value elsewhere, efforts should be made to calculate if some sediment value might be made available elsewhere, and some variant of the above financial arrangement should be put in place. c. Where there is no obvious down-shore sediment benefit then a sincere effort should be made to hold the line for an agreed number of years while a package of measures should be put in place to enable all coastal communities to relocate over a period of time. d. Where a “Hold the Line” or do nothing” approach is officially accepted for the medium term, then the issue of who pays to retain a viable strategy only for a limited period will require investigation. Insurance schemes for limited periods, purchase and re-rental of property, and landowner and financial schemes for flood protection are all relevant here. 4. Project evaluation i. The guidelines that influence the cost-benefit analysis of new coastal management schemes should be thoroughly reviewed. ii. Community-based weightings play an important role in multi-criteria risk assessment and project evaluation. iii. Reassessing the Defra points scoring system is a significant policy issue.





Box 1: Key recommendations from project (cont.) 5. Coastal governance i. Shoreline Management Plans should be made statutory ii. Coastal management partnerships should be created as part of the reform of flood defence committees and internal drainage boards. This could consist of coastal authorities, Defra, the statutory agencies, land-owners, tourism, gainful economic enterprises, parish and other local interests. Such partnerships should have a chief executive, a secretariat, should operate to the statutory Shoreline Management Plan, and should have funding to be able to run for 5-25 year periods. Coastal forums should be established that are inclusive, based on trust and open dialogue, feed into the coastal partnerships and share the design and ownership for the Shoreline Management Plans. Shoreline management plans should evolve out of coastal Local Development Frameworks. This is a new procedure for local strategic planning that connects to sustainable development principles and practices, Regional Spatial Strategies, Local Development Frameworks and intensive community participation. The overall conclusion that all such partnerships should be locally fashioned with local facilitators, but set within broad national sustainability guidelines, holds.




Key findings The key conclusion from the project is that there must be an informed, and broad-based, positive understanding of changing coastlines which are dynamic and cannot be contained by holding the current lines of protection. There also needs to be improved dialogue between the multitudes of stakeholders who are affected by coastal issues. It is clear that social considerations, as well as economic and environmental issues need to be carefully considered. For example, the contentious matter of compensation/reimbursement needs to be set within a wider framework of adaptive management tools and scope for effective sustainable coastal living and working in order to help communities adapt to a changing coastline. One of the most striking features is the lack of a national framework for effective sustainable coastal management. Coastal governance is a major area of policy flux, with a continuing process of consultation, growing unease by local authorities and coastal forums, and a need to reconsider the whole mechanism of adaptation. The Defra base of flooding and coastal management provides too narrow a policy setting and funding arrangement for truly sustainable coastal planning and management. New inter-governmental structures are needed, set in the framework of local development strategies, sustainability planning and EU regional funding. Key future work We would propose an extension to the current study to focus on communication issues for English Nature with particular regard to their Maritime Strategy. This would advise English Nature on principles and strategies to enhance meaningful stakeholder involvement in decision-making over long-term wildlife management. It will provide examples of best practice and techniques for working with communities and how to achieve successful stakeholder dialogue. We also recommend that research be extended to further investigate the Shoreline Management Plan process of stakeholder engagement, not only for SMP 3b (Kelling to Lowestoft), but also for other second


generation SMP pilot draft plans around the country where assistance will be required to achieve true stakeholder engagement. This would involve a critical evaluation of participatory methods and fresh approaches to the involvement of a variety of genuinely interested parties and legitimate stakeholders in the second generation of the Shoreline Management Plans (SMP) process encompassing a number of sensitive areas of the coast. Underlying all this will be a new theme exploring the options for managing the transitions of a changing coastline and will address the issues of reimbursement, compensation and comprehensive planning conducted through the case studies. Since any coastal policy decision, whether to hold the line, manage realignment or offer no further intervention, carries inevitable gains and losses (because of changes in erosion patterns, differential coastal exposure and associated variable sediment movement), there is a vital case for reassessing how those who gain can help to support those who lose should such a redistributive strategy be feasible and pragmatic. This is a key area for a specialised workshop. All this will be set in the policy framework that emerges from the Defra consultation process, particularly linked to the adaptation tool kit and to the emerging roles for local development frameworks and their area action plans. Recommendations & outcomes There is also a lack of a coherent cooperative approach between the elected bodies and statutory agencies with no coordinated approach to policy, funding and stakeholder dialogue. What is needed is a major commitment to the comprehensiveness of coastline management, involving people, viable economies and coastal dynamism along natural lines will involve a much more intensive approach to community dialogue. There is a gap between previous history of “delivery” and the future of “non delivery” The different costs of delivery, means that a much more thoughtful and preparatory approaches to shoreline management are required. There is a case that some “stay of execution” for Shoreline Management Plans would be valuable. This proposal will not be welcomed by those seeking shifts in coastal management to favour biodiversity enhancement and the removal of costly and ultimately futile defensive measures. But there is a strong case in fairness of allowing breathing space for local interests to work out comprehensive mid to long term solutions that bring together issues of risk assessment, visualisation of possible coastal patterns, fresh forms of adaptation and betterment and improved and more comprehensive approaches to sustainable development. Pushing too far too fast could well prove seriously counterproductive. This is why we have begun research looking into the possible complementarities between local development frameworks, sustainability planning for coastal area action plans, continuous and supportive public involvement and experimental coastal management schemes.


Coastal management policy and practice are going through a revolution in England and Wales. This is essential, given the increasing level of knowledge about current and future climate change, and the need to ensure adaptability and a more holistic approach. This is made more challenging due to the degree of expectation that a ‘hold the line’ approach will be maintained. The first generation of Shoreline Management Plans, though in some cases aiming at readjustment, have to a large degree followed this broad principle spurred by local and regional flood defence committees. The titles of the recent strategies from Defra and English Nature, “Making space for water: Taking forward a new Government strategy for flood & coastal erosion risk management” (Defra, 2005) and “Our coasts and seas – making space for people, industry and wildlife” (English Nature, 2005), emphasise the drive to accommodate a multiplicity of natural and social interests when managing the future coastline. There have been important new shifts by Defra that come through from the “Making space for water” consultation document. The issues include more risk-based approaches and analysis, new formal arrangements and the role of other bodies in coastal management (elected and statutory bodies), and also the models of governance for managing the coast (the question of who decides). There needs to be openness about whether there will be shared responsibility or a participatory process and a non-statutory SMP. The table below describes the changes in Defra’s approach to coastal management.

Table 1: Characteristics of Defra’s approach to coastal management (Source- Adapted from Tyndall Centre Working Paper for Defra, January 2005.)

Pre 2004

Post 2004Foresight and “Making space for water”
• Change the coast unless hold the line is unavoidable or politically unacceptable Make space for water and sediment (not mentioned) Use the planning process as a landuse control device by implying inappropriate development will pay for rights and accepting that insurance cover will not always be available Compensation not specifically mentioned, but adaptation is introduced CBA, risk criteria in multi-criteria analysis and points scoring much more important as guides to project management Shoreline management plans much stronger documents guiding PPS20/25

• • • •

Hold the line Modest managed realignment “Tit for tat” nature conservation policy on the EU Habitats Directive Use of cost- benefit analysis (CBA) and points scoring system for project justification Strong intervention by Internal Drainage Boards (IDBs) and Local Flood Defence Committees (LFDCs) in the final design of schemes Local authority autonomy over coastal protection and planning Modest use of Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs), with a general attempt to maintain the status quo

• •

• •


Local authorities possibly in a weaker role with more likelihood of a strong Environment Agency (EA) influence over all coastal management strategies Basically a policy rewrite. Stakeholders will be expected to be co-responsible for coasts with a willingness to reconsider the shoreline change implications of coastal communities to retreat and realignment English Nature forced to reconsider coastal habitats and EA now financing new coastal options

The Government is increasingly proactive in its approach to coastal change. Flood and coastal defence have formed an element of the Foresight work commissioned by the Office of Science and Technology. The report ‘Future Flooding’ was published in 2004 and created a challenging vision of the future to ensure effective strategies now. The “Making space for water” consultation by Defra in 2004 started to take on board some of the conclusions of the Future Flooding’ report and these are acknowledged in the Government response to the consultation in 2005. Managing risk at the coast needs to fit within the context of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM). The ICZM stocktake was carried out and published by Defra in 2004. (See Box 2) English Nature has developed a new Maritime Strategy, with the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders, to complement and support these other initiatives. A key part of the vision set out in the strategy is for plans and management measures to be in place to allow habitats to adapt to long-term coastal evolution. The Maritime Strategy itself is discussed later in the document in the section on maritime ecosystems and a changing coastline (See Box 3) The second generation of Shoreline Management Plans include new approaches to public consultation. In addition, there is a proposal for the introduction of a Marine Bill (Box 4), and an indication that there could be a review of the 1949 Coast Protection Act. (For details of the Act see Box 5) A final note about policy ambiguity is worth mentioning. There is little doubt that the current arrangements for coastal policy for action and delivery are set in a pattern of governing and financing arrangements that are neither stable nor consistent. This is an inevitable outcome of deep policy flux. But it does mean that any specific recommendations arising from this research requires compensating shifts in policy position linked to other aspects of the recommendation package. This must always be borne in mind in the detailed report that follows.


Box 2: ICZM Stocktake Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) is the process which seeks to “join up” the different policies that have an effect on the coast whilst bringing together stakeholders to inform, support and implement these policies (Atkins, 2004). In 2004 a Stocktake on ICZM in the UK was produced by the consultants Atkins and this review was initiated in response to an EU Recommendation. The exercise was led by the Marine and Waterways Division of Defra. The EU Recommendation called for each member state to conduct a national stocktake to analyse which actors, laws and institutions influence the planning and management of their coastal zone. They were also to assess how well the eight key principles of ICZM were implemented in the UK. The eight principles are: • • • • • • • • A broad overall perspective; A long-term perspective; Adaptive management; Local specificity; Working with natural processes; Involving all the parties concerned; Support of relevant administrative bodies; Using a combination of instruments

The findings from the Stocktake showed a mixed picture of how the principles of ICZM are being implemented in the UK. It suggests that the sectoral framework under which coastal issues are approached is not consistent with true ICZM principles. However, local, voluntary actions are considered to be closer to these principles and aspirations with the most successful principle being that of “local specificity”. It was observed that considerable effort was also put into encouraging and facilitating “involving all the parties concerned”. This latter objective is particularly important when the implications of the Aarhus Convention are considered. The review also shows the widespread occurrence of participation that is happening at all levels of decision making. It was pointed out the area of most concern was the lack of long-term planning for the future of coastal management. Most ICZM projects to date emphasise short-term and often urgent projects. The next step for the ICZM exercise is for the Government to produce a strategy for working towards ICZM by the end of 2006.

Box 3: English Nature’s Maritime Strategy
The Maritime Strategy of English Nature is set out in the document, “Our coasts and seas- making space for people, industry and wildlife”, which was published in March 2005. Three key priorities for action highlighted in the Maritime Strategy are; i. The need for new legislation to take forward a network of Marine Protected Areas that represents all habitats and species. Moving from coastal defence to coastal management. Marine spatial planning.

ii. iii.

This strategy highlights the need for action across a range of issues from the loss of coastal habitats due to coastal squeeze to the damage to marine ecosystem caused by over-exploitation of fisheries. The need to adapt to coastal change by completing the shift from coastal defence to coastal management is highlighted, and the establishment of both a marine spatial planning system and a coherent network of Marine Protected Areas are advocated.


Box 4: Marine Bill
The Marine Bill (Draft) is one of the Government Bills for 2005/2006 that is still in progress ( The key measures of the Marine Bill (Draft) are: • • • • • • • Will introduce a streamlined system for planning and managing activities and consenting to developments in coastal and marine waters. Will extend the scope for protecting and restoring marine species and habitats. Will update existing piecemeal marine environmental legislation. Will protect and enhance what we have, whilst at the same time deriving sustainable economic and social benefit. Will improve our capacity for planning and handling the growth in offshore developments across a range of sectors. Will simplify the fragmented and inconsistent regimes governing development in coastal and marine waters, creating a fit-for-purpose set of arrangements incorporating the principles of sustainable development. Will provide appropriate powers to protect important marine areas, species and habitats.

Box 5: Coastal Protection Act 1949
The purpose of the Coast Protection Act (1949) is to make provision for the law relating to the protection of the coast against encroachment by the sea and to make provision for the safety of navigation. The Coast Protection Act (1949) entrusts the responsibility for coast protection work to the "coast protection authorities", which are district or unitary councils. Coast protection work is defined as work of construction, alteration, improvement, repair, maintenance, demolition or removal for the purpose of protecting land against erosion or encroachment by the sea. The powers given to the Coast Protection Authorities under the Act are permissive, i.e. Authorities are not obliged to protect eroding coastlines. The Coastal Protection Act is administered by the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and is broadly intended to allow coastal authorities to carry out major new or replacement schemes, whilst routine maintenance and general husbandry of the coast is regarded as a non-statutory local function. The Act makes no specific provisions for amenity or conservation works and is confined solely to defence structures. The Government proposes to review current legislative and institutional arrangements for coastal management. They hope to complete this review by spring 2006. This review could include consideration of amending the Coast Protection Act 1949. (Defra, 2005)

A final note about policy ambiguity is worth mentioning. There is little doubt that the current arrangements for coastal policy for action and delivery are set in a pattern of governing and financing arrangements that are neither stable nor consistent. This is an inevitable outcome of deep policy flux. But it does mean that any specific recommendations arising from this research requires compensating shifts in policy position linked to other aspects of the recommendation package. This must always be borne in mind in the detailed report that follows.


1. Maritime ecosystems and a changing coastline
Coastal habitats are a crucial part of biodiversity and wildlife maintenance. The responsible agency, English Nature, has embarked on a series of coastal habitat surveys, supported by scientific maritime strategies, and the implementation of the EU Habitats Directive. All this has resulted in a detailed assessment of the threats and opportunities for coastal habitat transformation that needs to be better articulated with local economic interests and coastal resident concerns. Much of this work is based on models and probabilities and policy options. They are not fixed in certainty. Since the quality of coastal environments is of as much interest to residents and businesses locally, there is an even greater need to relate all of the habitat transformation value to local interests and aspirations. This is still a challenge that English Nature has to overcome, though it is approaching this challenge with gusto and thoughtfulness. Studies of the scope for managed realignment point to the blockages to rapid and effective delivery including complex and lengthy administrative procedures, and the need for consents and public acceptability. The small numbers of managed realignment schemes thus far have not been operational flood risk management schemes, but have relied on other sources of funding (for example through agri-environment schemes) and, by necessity, have been in rural locations. There is no precedent to date for large scale coastal realignment as part of the flood risk management process. 1.1 English Nature’s Maritime Strategy

English Nature published their new maritime strategy document, “Our seas and coasts: making space for people, industry and wildlife”, in March 2005. This strategy is the product of English Nature working closely with a wide range of stakeholders and taking on board the responses to the consultation document, “Our coasts and seas: A 21st Century agenda for their recovery, conservation and sustainable use”, which was published in 2004. The core ambitions of the strategy are to: • • • • • • • • • • Shift completely from ‘defence’ to ‘management’ at the coast; Move from ‘exploitation’ to ‘sustainable use’ of our seas; Focus on ecosystems rather than individual habitats and species; See the introduction of a statutory marine spatial planning system; Establish a coherent network of Marine Protected Areas; Strongly protect marine ecosystems to stimulate their recovery; See policy advisors and decision-makers making better use of science; Focus more on, and better understand, the benefits the seas provide; Improve ways of involving stakeholders in decisions and advice; and Make stronger links between what happens on land and at sea.

This strategy sets out the actions that English Nature believes must now happen, under the following four aims: 1. Recover and conserve the wildlife, habitats and geo-diversity of our coasts and seas, their supporting ecological processes and overall resilience. 2. Increase understanding of coastal and marine environments, their natural processes, the impact that human activities have upon them, how to minimise those that have an adverse effect and improve the quality of decision-making.


3. Promote and encourage the use of natural resources in a sensitive manner to ensure longterm environmental, social and economic benefits. 4. Work with stakeholders to promote awareness, understanding and appreciation of the value of coastal and marine environments and seek wider involvement in adapting to change and in developing new policies. As a result of the research carried out in this project we would advocate a much closer relationship between the ICZM process of shoreline management, the reconsideration of the Coast Protection Act 1949, and English Nature’s Maritime Strategy. Here is a golden opportunity to twin coastal science with coastal governance. There is huge scope for recreating coastal habitats and compensating for lost coastal habitats within a period of 50-100 years. 1.2 Themes from interviews

The research for this project involved a series of strategic scoping interviews with stakeholders involved in a variety of roles in the management of the coast. The aim of these interviews (with representatives of RSPB, English Nature, North Norfolk Coastal Advisory group, National Trust, Norfolk Wildlife Trust, North Sea Action Group, and Great Yarmouth Council) was to explore the multitude of issues that are relevant to the governance of the North Norfolk coastline and help to inform the discussion. Several key themes emerged as a result of a series of semi-structured faceto-face interviews with stakeholders. The key issues identified were: • • • • • • • Stakeholder dialogue Trust Coastal partnerships Access to information Stability and mobility of a changing coastline Language and meaning Future for a sustainable coast

A number of case studies have been examined to highlight these issues. (See Box 6 for list of case studies) Box 6: Case studies in this section Cley/Salthouse case study Slapton Ley case study Glaven Valley case study Shoreline Management Plan 3b (Kelling to Lowestoft) Extended Steering Group model case study

1. 3

Stakeholder dialogue

One area of concern for stakeholders is that the experience they have in the decision-making process is one of “cosmetic consultation”. This is where they feel that they have been invited to attend meetings and give their points of view but these are in turn ignored and the situation leaves the participants feeling that they have wasted their time and effort by participating in the first place. What the stakeholders want is true “involvement”, where they feel not only a part of the decisionmaking process but that they have ownership of the outcome. This is an oft repeated finding. It reveals, however, a deep-seated problem with current models of consultation and participation. In nearly every case, the commissioning agencies and elected


authorities are unwilling to give up any power to a negotiated outcome. Sometimes this is a factor of a failure to be clear about statutory responsibilities and budget limitations and performance targets. And all too often it is due to an unwillingness to let a dialogue “get out of hand”. This is not an acceptable approach. It leads to disillusionment and frustration that may take many years subsequently to surmount. There is no substitute for getting all the cards on the table at the outset, and ensuring that all negotiated decisions are calibrated against policy measures and existing policy limitations that eventually have to be overcome. “Stakeholder dialogue”, “community involvement”, and “public participation” are all phrases that seem to be commonly heard in every-day language. In fact as Glicken (2000) states, “Decisionmakers in government and business are increasingly compelled to seek citizen input in decisions that affect the public, particularly in the environmental arena”. She goes on to say that participation should not be a substitute for science but should supplement or augment it. Participation is a creation of personality, values, histories and processes of engagement, plus trust in the meaningfulness of the exercise, and in the probity and accountability of governing bodies and executive agencies. One of the main principles behind participation is that when stakeholders or those affected by a particular decision take part in the decision-making process then they are more likely to support the implementation of that decision (Stojanovic et al, 2004). Similarly, there are three arguments for making public participation part of environmental decision-making- integrating local knowledge, working with democratic ideals and legitimacy and fairness. There are a multitude of other potential benefits to be gained by involving the community in decision-making and the policy process (Dovers, 2000). These include: • • • • • • • • • To allow debate about social values; To formulate policy or policy principles; To draw on particular expertise; To implement policy; To better deliver government policy program funds; To engage in management or on-ground works; To ensure transparency and accountability; To monitor environmental or social trends and conditions; and To monitor and evaluate policy and management.

An example of an effective participatory process is given in Box 7 which describes the stakeholder involvement in devising a Management Plan for the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) on the Scilly Isles. A participatory process can be a useful because even if the users are not entirely happy with the outcome, they may at least be satisfied that the decision-making process in which they took part allowed them to express their thoughts, and opinions, explain their concerns and argue for their views (Buanes et al, 2004). Regardless of the outcome this process in itself in an important component (Chess and Purcell, 1999).


Box 7: Isles of Scilly Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Management Plan A one year process of stakeholder dialogue was planned and took place on Scilly in order to involve local stakeholders in agreeing the contents of a statutory Management Plan for the Isles of Scilly AONB. The aim of this carefully designed process was to inform decisions and proceed in a way that was agreed by the majority of stakeholders. The Isles of Scilly lie 28 miles off the Cornish coast and the community of 2000 people have a strong sense of history. Hence, the challenge was “to find a way forward that retains the best of island life whilst bringing together sensitive and carefully managed change” (Pound, 2004). A participatory process entitled “Making the most of the islands” was set up and over 90 individuals were invited to take part (66 attended the workshops). A group of volunteers from Scilly were recruited and trained as small group facilitators to assist the consultant. The workshops were interactive and facilitated to ensure that participants felt they were properly listened to. However, it was crucial to manage expectations. The workshops included activities such as information gathering, brainstorming of new initiatives and identifying new management, short-listing and checking viability, assessing levels of support, and prioritising. The next steps after the participatory workshops involved user-friendly documents, a consultation process and on-going dialogue. The continuing dialogue could take the form of topic groups, advisory groups or action groups. As the report states, “The AONB Officer reports that there is already increased participation and interest in projects that are underway and progress in implementing the action plan is encouraging” (Pound, 2004).



Another very important component of successful public participation is that of trust. A prime example of the problems associated with loss of trust is the Cley/Salthouse case study (See Box 8) when the public image of English Nature was negatively influenced because some in the local community felt that they had been misled. There is an element of resentment towards English Nature even though English Nature did not make the ultimate decision (in fact Defra did). However, English Nature bore the brunt of the criticism and seemed to be the only agency directly in the firing line. This introduces a wider point, namely that English Nature is often placed in the “firing line” in coastal habitat issues, where the coastal partnerships should jointly shoulder the responsibility. At present English Nature is too “visible” and “naked”. The agency needs support. It is hoped that the shift to a new integrated agency, Natural England, due to begin formally in October 2006, will help to broaden the basis of wasted countryside, economy and wildlife management. Certainly, this is a critical arena for improved co-ordination.


Box 8: Cley /Salthouse Case Study The Cley/Salthouse site lies at the eastern end of the area covered by the North Norfolk coast CHaMP. It consists of a shingle ridge with an area of coastal grazing marsh, reedbeds, and an unusual transition of habitats landward from saline lagoons, through brackish habitats to freshwater. It is also an area where debate over the future of the area has occurred, prompted by serious flooding in 1996. It can be considered as an unusual example of coastal squeeze, which also can be viewed as “natural habitat evolution” (English Nature, 2003a). The shingle ridge runs from Salthouse to Blakeney Point along a highly dynamic coastline and provides the main line of defence for the land behind. The ridge, due to sea level rise and storms, is naturally retreating landwards, with approximate roll-over rates being 1 metre/year. However, due to the concern about flooding of the land and risk to properties in the Cley and Salthouse settlements, the Environment Agency has carried out sea defence works on parts of the ridge. These have included re-profiling and performing occasional beach nourishment. These works are damaging to the shingle habitat features of the area, costly and reduce the effectiveness of the shingle ridge as a flood barrier by producing an artificially steep profile which is more prone to catastrophic failure and increased porosity. The North Norfolk SMP concluded that the management of the shingle ridge was unsustainable and hence alternative options for coastal management were investigated. This led to an application by the Environment Agency for the construction of a partial setback embankment which would allow the shingle bank to roll back whilst, at the same time, proving a flood defence embankment to be submitted to North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) in June 1999 (English Nature 2003a). The application was approved in principle at a meeting pf the Planning and Highways Committee in January 2000. The NNDC then approved the proposal in March 2000. Despite a lengthy process of consultation and all stakeholders agreeing that this would be an acceptable option, the proposed scheme was overturned. It appeared that there were a number of key issues that needed to be addressed, such as: the impact the work would have on the landscape; the internationally important nature conservation interests; vehicle access; excavation of material for the embankment. Defra funding on the scale anticipated at Cley-Salthouse requires that the works are necessary for the maintenance of overall European nature conservation interests. Therefore, Defra asked English Nature and the Environment Agency to review these requirements and to re-evaluate the scheme for environmental benefit and economic cost considerations. It was English Nature’s advice that although the Cley-Salthouse scheme previously consulted upon was acceptable, in terms of maintaining key wildlife, it could not be economically justified on environmental grounds alone. However, it was that many stakeholders in the local community at Cley (and even more at Salthouse) felt left out with regard to what was happening with the scheme, they did not receive information regarding the change in the decision caused more upset then the scheme not proceeding in its original form. This viewpoint was apparent from the subsequent interviews. People claimed that they were confused about what was going on and that it was not a transparent process of decisionmaking. In short, English Nature was seen as unreliable. In short, English Nature was seen as unreliable. There has been a lot of unease locally over how people were kept informed over the Cley/Salthouse case. There is a need to move on and learn lessons from this case study – one of the most important being that constant communication and the maintenance of trust are essential. Local residents want to know why the scheme was changed also what the current line on conservation of coastal sites is.


Box 8: Cley /Salthouse Case Study (cont) The current situation appears to be that the shingle bank will not be maintained at its present level. The profile and alignment of the ridge will be allowed to become more ‘natural’, but surface water drainage from the marsh will be improved. This will inevitably result in changes to the conservation interests of the area, but these are likely to be minor, with the exception of the possible loss of bitterns where off site compensatory habitat will have to be established. The new scheme will result in an improved more natural shingle ridge which will be less prone to catastrophic failure, and will maintain uninterrupted views across the marsh. An Expert Panel on Shingle Ridges is currently being formed to discuss the future of the shingle ridge. 1.4 Coastal partnerships

In the UK, as in many other countries where ICZM is not enshrined in statute, a voluntary approach to coastal management has been taken and voluntary coastal partnerships are a major part of coastal management success in the UK (McGlashan, 2003; Atkins, 2004; and Fletcher, 2003). Coastal partnerships are vital for successful coastal management but a key aspect is how English Nature is going to work with these groups and ensure that there is an integrative approach, both with the Environment Agency and other partnership groups. This highlights the issue of shared responsibility and the need to develop a shared responsibility in the management of coastal risk. There is still a need for more effective co-ordination between the activities of coastal engineers and planners (Ballinger et al, 2002). They also suggest that Coastal Groups could play a role in facilitating networking between these two communities and improve the knowledge and understanding. Hence, coastal partnerships can act as a mechanism for integration and help achieve the goal of more “joined-up thinking”, while at the same time incorporate useful local knowledge into the decision-making process. As Fletcher (2003) states, “Local and regional coastal partnerships (CPs) have emerged since the early 1990s as a key mechanism to address coastal management concerns in the UK”. He goes on to say that these groups “use the rationale of deliberative consensus building to develop and implement broad-scale management strategies”. 1.5 Access to information

It was noted from the scoping interviews that many stakeholders felt that they were not being given the full story – that information that they should have been party to was being held from them. Several interviewees stated that they felt that decision-making processes in coastal issues were not transparent and that they often did not know who had made the decision and how. There is a great need to “displace the myths” regarding coastal management and coastal change and this can only come about through more robust science being incorporated into the decision-making process and through greater access to information for all. There is also a strong case for greater communication through project progress reports to keep stakeholders informed on the work being carried out on coastal schemes. This may have made a difference for the Cley/Salthouse Scheme if the local community had felt that they were being kept up to date with how the scheme was progressing. Now that the UK Government has endorsed the recommendations of the Aarhus Convention, there is more pressure on it to enact meaningful, fair and comprehensive public engagement in future coastal planning (see Box 9: Aarhus convention).


Box 9: Aarhus Convention
The Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters was adopted on 25 June 1998 in the Danish city of Aarhus at the Fourth Ministerial Conference in the 'Environment for Europe' process. It is a new kind of environmental agreement that links environmental and human rights. It also sets out the principle of fairness of treatment for future generations as well as to the rights of all living people. The Convention means that governments have a duty to be accountable, transparent and responsive. The Aarhus Convention grants the Public rights and imposes on Parties and public authorities’ obligations regarding access to information and public participation and access to justice. The Aarhus Convention establishes a number of rights for the public (citizens and their associations) with regard to environmental decision-making. Public bodies (at national, regional or local level) must contribute to ensuring the following rights are observed: The right of everyone to receive environmental information that is held by public authorities (“access to environmental information”). This can include information on the state of the environment, but also on policies or measures taken, or on the state of human health and safety where this can be affected by the state of the environment. Citizens are entitled to obtain this information within one month of the request and without having to say why they require it. In addition, public authorities are obliged, under the Convention, actively to disseminate environmental information in their possession; The right to participate from an early stage in environmental decision-making. Arrangements are to be made by public authorities to enable citizens and environmental organisations to comment on, for example, proposals for projects affecting the environment, or plans and programmes relating to the environment. These comments to be taken into due account in decision-making, and information is to be provided on the final decisions and the reasons for it (“public participation in environmental decision-making”); The right to challenge, in a court of law, public decisions that have been made without respecting the two aforementioned rights or environmental law in general (“access to justice”).


Stability and mobility

There is a great need for statutory bodies, such as English Nature, to get across to stakeholders the concept of a “changing coastline” – the message that the coastline will not remain static since the coastal zone is intrinsically a dynamic place. This mobility is mirrored by the mobility and changing attitudes of the statutory bodies with regard to coastal policy and the shift towards a more adaptive and flexible approach to coastal planning and management. However, the public expect and desire the coast to remain stable and want to see English Nature as a means to retain the “stability” of the coast. Also, the training of English Nature staff is an important component with the need for “reliability of new communication skills”. English Nature will need to extend the training of lots of trusted, knowledgeable Conservation Officers on the ground working with local people to not only build trust but to integrate the Maritime Strategy. This observation leads to a wider point. All coastal planning involves highly uncertain and very long term futures when gains to forthcoming generations are not at all clear. There is no easy way for the “sacrifices” of the present generation to be paid for by their successors. So we need a new breed of “facilitators” – officials and citizen need to converse their way through complicated pathways for future coastal management possibilities. This is a process of organised dialogue, requiring framing and case experience. 1.7 Language

The language used when describing coastal change and the responses to it was highlighted as an important issue. It was revealed that there appears to be a gulf between the way that local people


understand geomorphological change and the way that scientists and decision-makers understand the same processes and outlines. The local people tend to have a different language and pictorial appreciation for how the coast functions, whereas science tends to use technical words. This difference can lead to resentment and distrust when the two groups cannot fully understand the others point of view. Another concern is that the language used, particularly with respect to managed realignment schemes, often has negative connotations. Hence, the examples below recommend more positive phrases such as “habitat change” rather than “habitat loss” to ensure that the message that a changing coast does not have to be negative situation and that change is not necessarily a bad thing, rather it is a normal part of dynamic coasts in evolution. • • • • • 1.8 “coastal management” rather than “coastal defence” “payment” or “consideration” rather than “compensation” “realignment” rather than “retreat” “coastal habitat change” rather than “coastal habitat loss” “emerging nationally important habitats” rather then “nationally important habitats” Future for a sustainable coast

From the interviews conducted during this project it is clear that there is a variety of views about the future for the coastline of Norfolk (See Box 10 for some of the responses). There does appear to be a difference between the views of individuals depending on what area of the Norfolk coast they are most interested in and what their experiences have been. This is tied in with the two different sets of issues that affect North Norfolk and elsewhere on the coast. The issues in North Norfolk, where there is less impact of erosion and the coastline is actually accreting, are focused on flood management and managed realignment, while further south there is more emphasis on coastal erosion, with areas such as the eroding cliffs of Happisburgh being highlighted the most. Another factor is the mixed levels of understanding that people have with regard to the issues of coastal change. Box 10 Examples of responses given by interviewees when asked what they see as “the future for the coast in Norfolk”

Mixed responses from the interviewees such as: naturally functioning coastline local interests being ignored changing nature of coasts (fresh-water to more saline) apparently no scope for financial compensation won’t be there in 100 years time (need to manage the process by which the habitats are moved elsewhere)


Education and communication

During the EN workshop it was advocated that what was needed was pro-active education and working closely with education staff to tackle the big issues, while feeding information to people in advance and having a joined-up approach with other organisations was needed. It is believed that a common vision in terms of a natural processes approach is required for creative solutions to places like Holme before problems arise. With regard to communication there is a need for coordinators at the coast and for continuity and building up trust was commented on. For example, there should be baton-passing of guidance and experience for one coastal conservation officers to another. This will be even more necessary in view of the switch to Natural England in 2006.


With regard to the Extended Steering Group (ESG) of SMP 3b (Kelling to Lowestoft) there was concern that an enormous effort of consultation took place during the period 2002-2004 and was then thrown out. There was also concern that as a result the structure of the ESG would be thrown out too and that, if the SMP not adopted politically by the North Norfolk District Council, then some local people may blame the ESG. However, it has been suggested that the problem was the structure within which the ESG sat. It was commented that the principle of the EGS was good but there was not effective involvement of local people. It was also suggested that if going to involve stakeholders then need adequate levels of understanding and awareness about the issues. One useful example of how to increase understanding of coastal issues and coastal processes is the Standing Conference on Problems Associated with the Coastline (SCOPAC), one of the 19 Coastal Groups in England and Wales. (Coastal Groups are typically groups of operating authorities and other relevant interested parties established to oversee the Shoreline Management Plan process. Because of their voluntary nature and the variable nature of the coast they vary in format around the country). It had produced a “Non-technical guide to coastal defence” which is hoped to ( This may be one may to further the knowledge and understanding of general public with regard to coastal processes and coastal change. However, there can be serious limitations in education as it is only possible to discuss difficult issues with people if they fully understand them. Hence, a stumbling block is the limit to what most people can fully understand and unless there is a base-level of understanding stakeholder engagement may not be fully meaningful. Therefore, it is clear that understanding is the first building block (including for elected members on councils). There is a need to be creative about potential communication channels and allow for a mechanism that has flexibility. Some suggestions for improving effective communication would be: 1. Officers (outreach and mandated) with skills of communication and empathy 2. Action/Advisory Groups – networks of people, meet occasionally and email/phone contact more regularly 3. Coastal parishes via the church. Good governance – “eyes and ears” of coast. Use of websites. 4. Get younger people involved – schools. Can get an amazing response and interest from children. Another important aspect of communication, education and awareness-raising is the use of language and how accessible information is. It had been commented that the “Making space for water” consultation document was too large and was not accessible to all people. There is a need to use language that everyone can understand and can be accessible. There was also a concern that it had a huge consultation list and yet very little, if any, local involvement. It was suggested that there is a need for credence and a use of plain English. Another proposition was that Defra could have done a lot more at a local level to raise awareness of the “Making space for water” consultation. Examples could have included TV programmes to explain situations, better engagement in schools, and possibly a coastal newsletter linked to parish magazines. This type of preparation and information to reach people is a long-term process is an important component of raising the awareness of the implications of flooding and coastal erosion risks and their management. 1.10 Case studies

The analysis of the project draws insights from three case studies examining the role of English Nature in the conservation of coastal sites and how these are perceived by stakeholders. The first two case studies: Cley/Salthouse in Norfolk (see Box 8) and Slapton Ley on the South coast (see section below) are examples of the potential difficulties facing conservation agencies when dealing with coastal change and address how stakeholder perceptions can lead to conflict. The last case study introduces the potential for a “Glaven Trust” where wetlands could be created involving the


land-owners and the community in the planning of the scheme to produce a Vision for the Glaven Valley, Norfolk (see Box 11 below). These case studies highlighted a tension between the dynamics of conservation and the delivery and the idea of civic conservationism. Box 11: Glaven Valley As a result of the expected inundation at Cley/Salthouse when the shingle ridge overtops or is breached as a result of the changes in its management, and the consequent loss of some of fresh-water coastal wetland habitats, there is a requirement to find suitable compensatory habitat to replace that which is lost in order for the coherence of the Natura 2000 network to be maintained. This is of particular importance since the freshwater areas at Cley provide habitat for a number of rare bird species – most notably the Bittern. A proposal from the Environment Agency is to find suitable freshwater habitat elsewhere in North Norfolk that will compensate for the freshwater habitat that will be lost in the SPA at Cley. A number of sites are being investigated. Research being carried out at UEA on a draft management plan for the Cley and Salthouse marshes and the Glaven Valley in North Norfolk produced a GIS model of a potential scenario for wetland habitat creation in the Glaven Valley and defined a vision for the Glaven as described below: In the event, the results of a detailed hydrological survey conducted for the Environment Agency did not discover suitable habitat for the relocation of the bittern, an internationally protected species. So the Glaven Valley is now the subject of a broad based integrated catchment study. Vision for 2030 The valley and marshes are a special, biodiverse and spiritually refreshing place to work, live and play. Managed as a dynamic and adaptive whole landscape, it incorporates the feelings and desires of all those who are a part of its totality, ensuring a sustainable prosperity for current and future communities. Our vision incorporates learning from each other and the wider Norfolk coastal system.

Slapton Ley National Nature Reserve (NNR) is the largest natural freshwater lake in south-west England. This case study is an example of English Nature experiencing difficulties when dealing with stakeholders and the long-term management of a changing coast. The present concern arose during consultation over the re-notification of the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). In the wording of the document English Nature stated that, “It follows that in time and with stakeholder involvement, removal of the road would be the most appropriate outcome for the SSSI.” As a result the public felt that they had been abandoned. In a subsequent public meeting English Nature clarified its position. It now considers that the road should remain in place for the time being. By taking a front line approach in a major public meeting English Nature sought to restore the feelings of trust in the local community, which was already very sensitive to the future of the road. A storm in 2002 had caused severe undermining of the road and required consent for repairs. English Nature is in the (potentially untenable) position whereby they have assured people that the road will remain even though the natural dynamics of the system (with the landward migrating shingle ridge) mean that this eventually will not be possible. This is essentially a matter for the Slapton Line Partnership, a coalition of planning and shoreline management agencies. However, discussion at one of the project workshops focused on how it appeared that the Slapton Line Partnership did not work. The local perception was that English Nature put “shingle before people” and English Nature sharply became the focus as the target. The question was raised why


they didn’t work with Devon Highway Council. He suggested that here was no consistency of approach and no common agenda with other organisations such as Defra and the Environment Agency. It was suggested that for Slapton the partnership needs to function properly, there needs to be a civic coastal forum and an independent facilitator using local language to help with the dialogue. The perception of the local people was that by removing the road they were “losing their life-blood” and that it would be the end of their village life. There is a need for much more dialogue before go public with a decision. Subsequently, the Slapton Line Partnership held a fruitful public meeting on the basis of a semiofficial prognosis that the road would remain for 50 years (based on a study by consultant engineers). This led to a proposal by the local authority to seek Defra Flood Management Improvement Funds to incorporate the local development framework process into the future of coastal planning.

2. Strategic planning and hazard mapping
2.1 Changes in planning

The land-use planning system is currently undergoing a radical reform - centred around the objective of delivering sustainable development linked to an integrated, spatial planning approach and closer community engagement. The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act (PCP Act) introduces a system of Regional Spatial Strategies which may provide an opportunity for integrated coastal planning which could embrace Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs), Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM), provide some sort of legal and statutory basis to them and a long-term sustainable framework for managing the coast. The PCP Act provides a legal duty for plan-makers to contribute to the objective of sustainable development (which will find its expression in the new statutory Regional Spatial Strategies and Local Development Frameworks) which would demand a perspective into the future which recognised dynamic change and natural processes. Although the scale of coastal systems goes beyond regional boundaries it is felt among planners that the new RSS could provide the right geographical scale within which to embed integrated coastal policies. The planning reforms also introduce a stronger emphasis of community engagement introduced through the proposed Local Development Frameworks (which replace Local Plans and Structure Plans) which would be the formal route for stakeholder engagement in coastal management options. There is a strong case for much better coordination on the emerging Regional Spatial Strategies (RSS) and Local Development Frameworks (LDF), and long term risk-based coastal protection. At present the RSS is very much geared to spatial developments, economic enterprise and improved communications and housing possibilities. The Local Development Frameworks are still as a very early stage. So there is scope for a much more coast-sensitive approach to designing the RSSs and, especially, the LDFs. The former need to carry a specific justification for their recognition of the economic and environmental gains for good natural resource planning and coastal design linked to changed sediment patterns, progressive/roll-back and community involvement. The latter, the LDFs should ideally be fully located in Shoreline Management Plans, linked to their requirement for community strategies and community involvement, and this scope for encouraging local economic incentives and procurement and comprehensive natural resources management.


Another advantage of the creative relationship between new planning arrangements to these is that the coastal planning process could be much more targeted to local community requirements. This might allow for more comprehensive sustainability perspectives being incorporated in community relocation and strategic coastal realignment. 2.2 Planning implications

Suggestions for alterations to the planning system include: • • • • The need for statutory planning guidelines to ensure that developments are not placed in areas at long-term risk of coastal flood/erosion hazards The determination of 100 year coastal flood hazard maps will require comprehensive coastal modelling and visualisation Need to tighten the link between elected bodies and statutory agencies SMPs should be made statutory

The quote below, from one of the interviewees in the research process, emphasizes the role of both planners and developers when dealing with coastal change.

Box 12: Quote for an interviewee regarding planning and coasts “The only way to move communities back from the coast is to change the planning laws and make planners and developers more accountable when building”

Government is trying to integrate and reduce the complexity of the consenting and plan-making regimes which provides further impetus to bed current coastal initiatives within the new statutory planning system rather than developing entirely new forms of governance. This relationship is still not clearly defined in the Defra consultation document. It may be necessary to upgrade the SMP process and its role. Such a move would require a more formal and partnered relationship between Defra, the Environment Agency and the coastal defence and planning authorities. There was a call at the NNDC workshop for assistance for planners at the front line that have to make decisions here and now and that they need “sound planning reasons”. There are decisions being taken now that could turn places into the Happisburgh of the future. There is a need to allow no new building in certain areas, move back from cliffs and put development in other areas. While there should not be any building on the edge, there is no mechanism to stop building 13m from the edge. The NNDC adopted the Local Plan in 1998 and the 60 year line of possible erosion was set up and no new dwellings were allowed in this zone. There was a policy of “coastal erosion risk areas” set up. The Regional Spatial Strategies (RSS) form the second upper tier of the planning system. The East of England region draft plan was published at the end of 2004. However, before this draft there was no reference to the SMP. The new Local Development Frameworks which replace the local Plans need to ensure that location of new development is compatible with the SMP. NNDC Planning Officers pointed out that despite the safeguards buildings are still being built within the flood plain. There needs to be proper “Flood Mitigation Measures”. Inappropriate development is occurring now and it cannot continue like this.


This is an early stage in planning guidance and long term coastal flood and erosion risk. It will take the planning policy process some time before a comprehensive position paper is drawn up. In the meantime, there is a strong case for some intermediate planning policy guidance. This should help coastal planning authorities to work through coastal engineering teams, the Environment Agency, and English Nature and its sister organisations (Countryside Agency, English Heritage, and Rural Development Service) to agree a joint approach to planning refusal and planning permission based on the best, risk-based, evidence available. 2.3 PPG 25 and flood maps

Planning Policy Guidance (PPG) 25 “Development and Flood Risk” was published in July 2001 with a commitment to review it 3 years after its publication. The consultation ended in October 2004 (See Box 13 for details of what the new Planning Policy Statement will involve) It was discussed during the Defra workshop that flood maps are a starting point in the process and that there is a need to be alert to potential risk and then use PPG25 for flood risk assessment. Box 13: Planning Policy Guidance 25: Development and flood risk (PPG25) As a result of a consultation on whether to review PPG25 the Government has decided to replace PPG25 with a new Planning Policy Statement (PPS). They hope to consult on a draft later in 2005. Defra envisage it will: Provide a stronger and clearer requirement for Flood Risk Assessments; Be drafted on the basis that it will be followed, subject to consultation, by a standing Direction related to sustained objections by the Environment Agency on flood risk grounds; Clarify the sequential test that relates types of appropriate development to the degree of flood risk at any particular location; Reflect the importance of taking account of the consequences, not just the probability of, future flooding events; Maintain the strong requirement that current and future flood risk is taken into account at all stages in the planning process, in development plans at regional and local authority level, and in framing and considering applications for planning permission; Clarify the relationship of policy on flooding with other planning guidance; and Clarify how flood risk from sources other than rivers and the sea, such as flash flooding, groundwater, sewers and the drainage system, can be taken into account in the planning process, reflecting lessons from the pilots on integrated drainage management (Defra, 2005) The Government is also looking to improve awareness and education of coastal flood and erosion risks, including work towards provision of comprehensive and accessible risk maps which include coastal erosion by 2008. (Defra, 2005)

The “Making space for water” consultation as well as the PPG25 review and its revisions should place more emphasis on strategic flood risk assessment. Similar maps for erosion risk should be provided. This has now been addressed in the Ministerial Response to "Making space for water". For details on Flood maps see Box 14.


Box 14: Flood probability maps In autumn 2004 the Environment Agency produced flood risk maps designed to show the predicted extent and probability of tidal and fluvial flooding in specific areas (Defra, 2004). These maps of flood probability will be used for a number of purposes, including the derivation of estimates of risk through a project on risk assessment for strategic planning. In the Ministerial Response to “Making space for water” it was stated that the Environment Agency will continue to develop their flood probability maps as part of the current flood mapping strategy for the period to 2008 (Defra, 2004). It was stated that Defra will work with the Environment Agency and other operating authorities to widen publicly available risk mapping to include coastal erosion probabilities and risks by 2008 (Defra, 2005).



The Foresight project looked at flood risk and showed the need to revise risk upwards all the time under all 4 scenarios. It is difficult to define the boundaries and characteristics of at extreme events: Foresight did not mention tsunamis although the risk they pose to coastal areas could be very high. The risk is changing and this is turn is linked to changing experiences and expectations. Tyndall Phase 2 will look at the interaction between science and the use of science by policymakers. Academics should not be working in “Ivory towers” but should be addressing questions in a manner that people want the answers to. Suggestions made during the Defra workshop included: 1. Defra and science community and local authorities need to recognise the increased probabilities and the change in risk 2. The ODPM need to engage with the science community and look at how best to guide PPG25 and give clear guidelines 3. Issues highlighted include blight, insurance and functional communities

Defra itself has embarked on a fresh look at evidence-based science research. Laudable as this is, it is evident from this research that part of “evidence” is the consultation of feelings and aspirations that citizens, residents and tourists hold over such matters as “natural coastline change” and “social justice” in the treatment of property loss. So the framing of “evidence” in the science-policy dialogue will require careful handling. The current state of the revised PPS25, dealing with official planning guidance for flood and coastal risk remains unclear. The government’s proposals include a “call-in” power for the Department of Communities and Local Government in any case when the Environment Agency and local planning authorities do not agree over the possible future flood risk. This does not yet cover the zones of new risk assessments resulting from a 25-50 year planning horizon. So there is still quite a lot of work to be done in this regard.


3. Shoreline Management Plans
The new breed of Shoreline Management Plans are being advanced in an emerging policy framework that places much more emphasis on long term, and potentially convulsive, coastal change, huge scope for very different coastal alignments, a recognition that holding the coastal defence line is neither feasible nor cost effective in the medium to long term, and acknowledging that the effects of increased coastal erosion and wind/wave/tidal movement will add to the likelihood of even more penetrating and increased erosion and flooding. This emerging policy of “making space for water” is arriving at a time when the second generation Shoreline Management Plans are being prepared. Since these plans are expected to be based on extensive consultation and explicit agreement of local residents and businesses, together with elected coastal authorities and statutory bodies, the emerging conflict over historically-derived expectations and future coastal realities is proving difficult to manage. The response by Ministers to the public consultation over the new policy for strategic flood risk management that includes managed realignment comes at a time when Ministers are also recognising that community acceptance of Shoreline Management Plans must be brought into expanded democratic practices. This is all the more necessary in the light of the possible transfer of coastal flooding strategic responsibilities to the non-elected Environment Agency, which has not traditionally been close to, and hence trusted by, public opinion. Given the possible tensions between historical expectations, and patterns of property ownership on the coastline, it is all the more vital that genuinely effective community involvement at the fundamental levels of people’s livelihoods and assets, are addressed in a comprehensive and caring manner. A Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) provides a large-scale assessment of the risks associated with coastal processes and presents a long term policy framework to reduce these risks to people and the developed, historic and natural environment in a sustainable manner. In doing so, an SMP is a high-level document that forms an important part of the Defra strategy for flood and coastal defence (Defra, 2001). The SMP3b consultation process, headed by North Norfolk District Council, encountered a number of delays during 2004 and 2005. Originally the consultation process was to begin in June 2004 but this was postponed until September 2004 due to opposition from the councillors over the proposed policies. It appeared that there needed to be more discussion about individual places such as Happisburgh. This situation highlights the tension that is evident in the UK between central decision-making and local thinking. A second delay in the process occurred during the consultation period when the consultation was extended. The model used for SMP 3b: Kelling to Lowestoft adopts a participatory approach to the development of the SMP with an Extended Steering Group comprising selected sectors of the community affected by, or having an interest in, the plans outcome. This model provides the greatest degree of public involvement by enabling partnership between clients and stakeholders in direct, collaborative decision-making. The methods selected should facilitate policy development within the participatory framework. (See Figure 1). The first SMP 3b used a model which had limited participation and had political purposes which resulted in policies that were chosen being unsustainable. The second generation SMP 3b uses the Extended Steering Model but this has the potential problem of no member involvement but does involve the forward planning team. There is a danger of “cosmetic consultation” processes which are very damaging and that stakeholders resent the time and effort they put into the process if they do not see their input being acted on in the result. Hence, proper consultation needs to be done fully, completely and transparently.


Stakeholder Engagement Model 3



Figure 1. Stakeholder Engagement Model (Kelling to Lowestoft: Subcell 3b) Source: Defra, 2004b The analysis, through semi-structured interviews, also explores the Extended Steering Group stakeholder engagement model. Key themes that emerged from these interviews include: • • • • • • the role of the facilitators and the clarity of the SMP process continuity of process lack of local knowledge incorporated involvement of stakeholders legitimacy of process compensation

The relationships between coastal community forums and the delivery and planning agencies are cordial and, broadly speaking, trusting. Yet it is fair to say that any major shift in planning, financing and cooperating over the future shape of coastal economies and layout will require a different approach to the role of governance, planning and sharing the burdens and opportunities of comprehensive sediment management along the whole coast. The interviewees were asked if they felt that the meeting that had attended had changed their understanding of the issues and points of view (See Table 2). While 10 individuals felt that their knowledge had been improved (both from a technical and political perspective) nearly as many felt that they already had a fair understanding of the issues.


Table 2: Number of interviewees who answered the question, “Did the Extended Steering Group meetings you attended have any impact on the following?” Yes i. Changed your understanding of all the different issues and points of view? ii. Changed your point of view? iii. Resolved any differences between the different interests and the points of view of others? iv. Did you have trust in the process of how decisions about coastal defences are made? No Not sure













With regard to the meetings changing people’s points of view – the majority of individuals felt that the meetings did not affect their point of view on the issues regarding coastal management, especially those that had strong feelings about issues such as compensation. There was a greater split in the responses about whether the meetings were able to resolve differences between the various points of view or not. While 9 interviewees felt that the meetings did not help to resolve differences (with some saying that they did however help to air all the issues), 6 interviewees felt that the meetings did go some way to resolving some issues by allowing people to look at the larger questions and issues – i.e. “the big picture” and not just personal interests. In terms of trust in the process of developing the policies for the coastline from Kelling to Lowestoft the majority of those interviewed (11 out of 17) felt that it was a legitimate, open process and had trust in how the policies were put together in that everyone on the ESG helped to formulate the policies and that points of view were taken on board and there comments were incorporated into the plan. However, 5 individuals felt that the policies had already been pre-determined (either by Defra or by Halcrow) and were cynical about the consultation process. Several suggestions were given as to how to make the process more effective. These included: • • • • • • • More meetings and more time spent on the process (i.e. not to rush it) Need to build in a mechanism to involve local communities Should have consulted local knowledge at the beginning of the process (not just community members but also local Environment Agency people) Set dates of meetings well in advance and make sure people have time to get up to speed with the literature (be prepared for meetings) Useful to have extra “interest” meetings – for example the Biodiversity meeting put together by English Nature to allow the conservation bodies to discuss the SMP with particular reference to conservation and biodiversity issues Opening up the process to invite members of the public at an earlier stage (however the interviewee recognised that this would be difficult to organise) Extended steering groups should have included elected members from the start (as they are the ones that have to buy-into the process)


Box 15: Quotes from interviewees “The whole exercise (SMP process) is worthless if can’t raise the issues of compensation – this has got to be resolved and peoples lives need to be a priority.” “The SMP was not a decision made by one person but in groups. It was integrated and got different groups working together to produce joint decisions.” “Need to increase the openness of the (SMP) process to increase the effectiveness.” “ If not for the ESG process than compensation would not have been talked about – it brought compensation far more into the process.” “The SMP 3b area is very political area but the Norfolk coast is not politically important – rural and low population density and so not very many votes.” “The key is to buy the sediment source (should be compensation at some level –like the Netherlands). And also need to tie it all in with an effective climate change policy for planning into the future (most sea defences have a 100 year life) and not just focus on “doing nothing” now. “Should have gone for consulting local knowledge at the beginning, before getting to the final stage.” “Need individuals that are committed to the process and have local knowledge.”

The draft SMP sets out a “preferred technical plan” and if that is changed then need to clearly state the changes (if elected members want it changed). The SMP is for the operating authorities and acts only as a guide. However, there is a need for better integration and if the SMPs became statutory that would have huge implications. There is a need to convince the Department of Communities and Local Government that they may need to go to an Act. But it appears that the Department of Communities and Local Government wants to shy away from adding to the image of a “nanny state” are disinclined to make the SMP statutory. It was suggested that the first generation SMPs had a lack of data to back them up but that since then a host of other studies on coastal processes have been done. With regard to the timing of the SMPs that is primarily because the SMPs are 10 years old. Three pilot SMPs are being carried out, each of which is a scientific document which gives a vision for the future but is linked to other tools (such as ICZM and Local Development Frameworks). The SMPs are just one part of the process. One question is how to make the SMPs more credible and get them to be taken more seriously. SMP 3b is one of three pilots and at the moment are waiting for feedback on the stakeholder engagement models used in each SMP (which had differing levels of community involvement). The Government clearly accepts that they have to address the issue of clarity about what happens along the coast. The SMPs need to be bought into by communities and delivered. There is a need to address the lack of fairness issue. Also, the second generation SMPs should be both deliverable and bought into. Flood and coastal defence is permissive in England as is enshrined in existing legislation. There is a need to find a mechanism through which the SMPs can be delivered but won’t initiate open-ended financial liabilities. This is where the adaptation tool kit fits in.


4. Adaptation to a changing coastline
Under the phrase “adaptation” lie a number of highly volatile issues. These cover the broad theme of adjusting to a new coastal land use and frontage. This will inevitably affect property values, and indeed which buildings are at risk for coastal flooding and erosion. So the term embraces issues of funding change that is seen as fair, responsible, mutually shared, and sensible in an emerging coastal democracy. It overwhelms, but includes the highly contentious notion of compensation. 4.1 Compensation and coastal communities

It has been suggested that compensation is required to facilitate a more objective debate on how to deal with changing coastlines. If one part of the coastline is lost to benefit another then there needs to be compensation for those losing out. People are directly affected by climate change and a carbon tax would provide the means for people to escape form a problem that was not necessarily of their own making. There are concerns about rolling back communities which may just be perpetuating the eventual liability of coastal risk. The question is whether some communities will really survive in situ. There does not seem to be a commitment to a truly sustainable coast. The suggestion was made that may need to produce new communities and that tinkering at the margins is not enough.. We argue that in many cases the “rolling back” of existing settlements can indeed take place. It would have to do so progressively over a period of 25-75 years, depending on the local circumstances, planning histories, and long term residency. Here is a case where new approaches to the Local Development Framework and to building economic enterprise out of natural resources functioning could well prove a viable mid-term opportunity. But such a move would have to involve integrated coastal governance. 4.2 Creative contributions

In terms of funds for relocation of communities, these could come from: • • • • The use of local strategic partnerships Scope for rural sustainable development cash for community revival and job creation Ecotourism and other local activities that generate new income and add local value Imaginative use of partnership funds arising from a possible new coastal sustainable communities programme to encourage sustainable coastal communities to emerge.

This project did not have the time or the resources to examine the scope and practicability of new forms of funding to assist local residents and property owners adjust to changing levels of coastal erosion and flooding. This is now the focus of the second phase of work; focussing initially on the North Norfolk coastline. What is at stake here is a much more optimistic interpretation of coastal management, where the designed flood rise becomes an opportunity for fresh economic and social uplift. 4.3 Coping with change and communication At the NNDC workshop the question of how citizens cope with change and get involved was addressed. One participant felt it was necessary to step back to the linked concepts of sustainability and fairness. Decisions are made on social and economic judgement but not environmental. The example given was the Thames Gateway project. Some felt that communities like Happisburgh were being told that they had no value and that if you want to get community buyin there is a need to have something for them to buy in to. This would need fairness to treatment and it has been suggested that this would come from compensation. Another concern is that there is a basic lack of understanding of coastal processes. This is a facet of the problem relating to the need to improve communication. Many people in coastal communities do not know what Shoreline


Management Plans are – this is both historic and because the consultative processes are not strategic. There is a need to move toward more participative processes and a requirement for funding to do this. The lack of communication has led to scepticism and lack of trust. Suggestions for how to adapt to change include: • • • • 4.4 Need to look at sustainability, coastal re-design and changing communities Combine different funding streams to design coastal communities Shared responsibility that may differ from one local circumstance to another Local delivery consortium with a common budget SMPs and adaptation

The shift in Government thinking has been welcomed by many and thinking towards a sustainable coastline is urged. It has been commented on that the SMP 3b Extended Steering Group was not effective participation early on and the level of understanding and knowledge of the public is too low. There is a need to make more effort at the early stage to get information over to people. It is very difficult for people to accept these changes at the coast but compensation (support in adapting to change) may go a long way to helping. However, the SMP may not be the place for compensation to be dealt with at the moment. In the future there needs to be new arrangements and finance, but this will take time. There needs to be a focus also on what is happening now and how people are impacted upon now in coastal communities. 4.5 Sediment management

It could be argued that if sediment is released by cliff erosion and that the coastal cliffs of Norfolk are providing sediment for elsewhere then there needs to be a recognition of this loss of land and that there is a “fairness argument”. The question is how much sediment is coming from the cliffs what composition does it have, and where is it all moving to. It could also be argued that the SMP puts forward increased erosion for the whole coast benefit. But there is huge scientific uncertainty over the mobilisation and coastal defence value of erodable sediment. So one of the key challenges is how to manage sediment supply. One suggestion is to consider the concept of “sediment husbandry” when thinking about dealing with sediment management and the issues of headlands forming. Other areas of the coast need to be thought about as well as the fact that there is a sediment deficit. There is a need to maximise beaches in the future for wildlife, tourism and communities. 4.6 People and wildlife

The point was raised during discussions that the phrase “compensatory habitat” is used frequently but that “compensation”, in relation to people, is seen as a bad word. It was commented on at the NNDC workshop that felt that there was an inconsistency in relation to compensation where people are compensated on estuaries for loss but not on coasts. This leaves the Environment Agency open to criticism. The concept of “people squeeze” was addressed in discussions and it was stated that if people were not on the coast then there would be less of an issue around coastal loss. How to deal with people is crucial in how to manage the coast and compensation was suggested to be part of the package. 4.7 Coastal Protection Act (1949)

The is a question of whether the Coastal Protection Act 1949 (See Box 5 on P19 for details) is “fit for purpose” or whether it has insufficient flexibility to provide a range of solutions that are needed. A new Act may be required to clearly define powers and responsibilities. There is a need for a clear, overall policy that should be supported by local “breathing”.. The issues of “ecological functionality” and “community functionality” are highlighted but “community functionality” is more poorly defined. Ecological functionality is heavily supported by the WFD and the Habitat Directive


(within a strong statutory framework). The idea of funded strategies along the length of the coast and that should not compensate the individual but compensate communities within a coastal cell. The Coastal Protection Act could be replaced with a “Shoreline Management Act”. However, there needs to be a quick implementation of a strategy that deals with a dynamic coast and does not create blight. There is currently no middle way in the Coastal Protection Act to help communities move and adapt. There needs to be more than just “defend” or “not defend”. For the new Natural England the Winterton Dunes has huge biodiversity benefits. There should not just be schemes that rely solely on flood defence money. 4.8 Toolkit

The notion of more imaginative approaches to funding and helping communities adapt is highly significant. Defra are really looking for an imaginative toolbox to take forward the Foresight Flooding work and the principles of Sustainable Development. Suggestions include a carbon tax, sediment management, and the issue of social justice and “squaring the circle”. The following tools could be brought to bear in financing sustainable coastal management: Note that these do not stem from the research specifically. They emerged from the interviews and workshops and can be taken as the basis for further detailed analysis for any research leading to the assessment of the adaptation tool kit. 1. Realigned financing linked to benefits of sediment management from unprotected to protected areas. This may mean the use of flood defence funds to pay for property and land suited on “sandy cliffs” or coastal wetlands. The purchased property could subsequently be leased back until the coastal alignment was changed. 2. Coastal trust funds to recognise the benefits of coastal protection from the costs of coastal loss in the name of sustainable shoreline management. This is still an unworked proposal. It may involve joint UK and EU co-operative funding to assist redesign and relocation. 3. Planning fees for any development in a designated coastal hazard zone, and a requirement in planning permission for funding against possible flooding. This is proposed by the government and may emerge in a fresh form in its current review of the whole planning process. 4. Fresh assessment of the risk cost benefit scoring scheme to enable more comprehensive and flexible interpretation of gains and losses of integrated coastal management. This certainly needs attention, and should be the basis of a workshop specifically designed to look at this contentious issue. 5. Recognition of the role of sustainable natural resource management as an economic asset for coastal communities, covering eco-tourism, heritage provision, local skills training for food cooperatives and sustainable construction, and enterprise for schemes for sustainable cooperatives. Here is where the co-operative funding around the local development framework process could be used to advantage in experimental schemes. 6. Use of funding available to local authorities under the planning procedures incentive scheme, well-being powers and community sustainable development strategies for engaging in sustainable coastal planning and community relocation. Again, this is a preliminary proposal for more detailed investigation in subsequent case studies. 7. European co-funding arrangements under agri-environment schemes, habitat recreation, habitat relocation and compensation and community regional development, linked to similar arrangements in Environment Agency, Defra generally, Natural England and the Maritime Authorities. This will be a matter for Natural England to advance in its emerging role.


8. Scope for redesigning the Regional Spatial Strategies and Local Development Frameworks so they positively fund sustainable coastal community schemes under special provisions under the Natural Resources and Rural Communities provisions. This also incorporates points 5 and 6 above, and should be part of a comprehensive strategy.

5. Project evaluation
It is appropriate for the guidelines that influence the cost-benefit analysis of new coastal management schemes be very thoroughly reviewed. In recent years these guidelines have added individual weightings for loss of amenity, affect on the lowering of peace of mind, and the scope for community well-being. Given the new emphasis on well-being more generally in the UK Sustainable Development Strategy, notably with regard to a sense of trust and negotiated involvement, it is appropriate that these cost-benefit and risk assessments should be based on a broader footing. The well-established multi-criteria assessment approach is not quite sufficient for this proposed task. We argue that coasts have ecological and aesthetic functions that deserve to be given appropriate benefit weighting, and that the role of proactive cost sharing by long term strategic investment in coastal redesign also deserves suitable weighting. Above all, these weights should be accorded community support value. If the government is serious about community buy-in to coastal redesign, then it must also accept that community-based weightings play and important role in multi-criteria risk assessment and project evaluation. Reassessing the Defra points scoring system is a significant policy issue. We strongly advocate the establishment of a further report on this topic, and a major workshop to assess its consequences and promote new policy thinking. The present Defra scoring scheme is under review. The points allocation is far too crude and judgemental to be much value if more deeply analyzed and participatory procedures are to be followed set in very wide ranging policy frameworks. The arrangements at present are very unsatisfactory. Admittedly, they place a strong bias on valuable property, level of risk, and scope for recognising social deprivation. This is laudable in principle. But the evidence is skewed to immediate danger, highly concentrated communities and to coastal habitats of international strategic importance. There is no room in the scheme for proactive coastal preparedness for long term realignment, or for progressive shifts in natural resource functioning. The scoring may actually turn negative if a natural area is lost, yet it may be “lost” if it is part of the long term coastal ecosystem functioning. Such an expedient and precautionary arrangement is given no special recognition under the present scoring arrangements. In essence, there is a case for a through review of the Defra “Points scoring system” to take into account the new approach to long term coastal guidance, ecosystem functioning and in depth community participation based on precautionary and adaptive science.

6. Coastal governance
At the heart of this work lies a commitment to review the role of governance for a sustainable coastline for England and Wales. The notion of governance extends to creative partnerships of public, private, civil and affected individuals or groups, operating in arrangements that are evolving, adaptive, responsive and executive. Governance embraces the formality of government, the institutions of policy-making, policy delivery, framing and assessments of spending, purposeful planning and foresightful planning and the roles of statutory functions and devolved responsibilities. It also includes less formal arrangements such as open ended partnerships,


creative collaborations of interests, fresh ways of communicating and negotiating, and innovative approaches to cost benefit analysis and payback. One key question for coastal governance is how to balance the need for local democratic input with need to prioritise funding on a national scale. Other key issues that we feel should be addressed which arise from the “Making space for water" consultation include: • • • • • • Assets at risk may be very much higher than Defra estimate ICZM and risk hazard maps should be up-graded and widely discussed SMPs and planning through cooperation with local authorities and coastal authorities could be made statutory via amended PPS 20/25 Governance by a mix of local authorities, regional bodies (such as RDAs, Regional Assemblies, and forthcoming Natural England) plus coastal groups as the way forward The notion of a two-tier approach (regional-local) deserves careful exploration Need for long-term stakeholder cooperation as an integral aspect of future governance

The issues regarding the coast have, in the past, been primarily assessed on their economic and environmental criteria. Nowadays, much more interest is being applied to the social considerations. These include the well-being of coastal communities as a whole, plus the more thorny social justice implications of properly loss and blight on coasts where historical coastal defence measures may not be continued. 6.1 Research

During the project research several key issues were raised with regard to adapting to coastal change and working with coastal communities. A number of potential mechanisms for transitional arrangements at the coast are recommended. These ideas have evolved through strategic interviews and discussions with stakeholders and an imaginative tool-box with ideas such as a coastal realignment fund and sediment valuation/reimbursement are suggested. However, the emerging policies of coastal realignment and relocation of settlements, linked to tough new planning arrangements and more differentiated reimbursement procedures mean that further changes to existing patterns of coastal governance are inevitable. 6.2 Coastal realignment fund

It has been suggested that the phrase “coastal realignment fund” be a better term than compensation. Such a fund could be financed by a carbon levy. This would be a charge on carbon emissions, or even carbon use, to create a revenue for climate change induced damage or adaptation. It would also be connected to local government local strategic partnerships and community well-being strategies. It would be even more effective if it was seen to be connected to some sort of time frame for reimbursement (though not too rigid as coasts are very dynamic) and to mutual responsibility for long term protection. The question of how to deal with communities and compensation could be addressed by this suggested “Coastal realignment fund”. There are great misunderstandings about the fact that people actually cannot get insurance at coast for landslide and erosion. It has been suggested in the workshops that if the government wants natural processes at the coast and if people must make sacrifices then the housing stock should be underwritten and a no future build policy put in place. The French follow the practice in the Normandy coast. This would allow the blight and speculation to be removed and integrity of investments to be maintained. The investment itself would be covered not the individual. The issue of 100 year timescales was highlighted and it was claimed that communities will not disappear overnight but that it will be a drip-feed loss of properties. 6.3 Aarhus principles


The Aarhus Convention (on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters) imposes on public authorities the duties of transparency, social justice and access to information in environmental decision-making. The “meaningfulness” may be intangible but there is a requirement under this convention for civic engagement and shared responsibility. This convention means that there needs to be a clear audit trail when environmental decision-making is taken and that the public have the right to probe for information. This will change the way that decision-making if taken as it will have to be more accountable and could be challenged in the courts. (see Box 9 for details) 6.4 Coastal governance arrangements

Suggestions for coastal governance arrangements arising from the interviews include: • • • • • need for a clear, coherent (umbrella) policy body, such as a maritime or coastal management agency possibility for establishing a maritime equivalent of the proposed Commission for Rural Communities for rural policy proofing and be linked to coastal change reliable financing formulae (involving Environment Agency, local authorities, Natural England and others) plus new effective delivery mechanism via Public Service Agreements locally specific delivery– need to address the Aarhus Principles (especially effective participation) and social fairness some form of permanent coastal stakeholder forum to act as a sounding board for the coastal bodies and to provide a basis for informed discussion and future appraisal and long-term public acceptance of a continuously changing coastline

Box 16: Quote from a arrangements for England





“There is a desperate need for a single agency to hold absolute responsibility for the management of the national coastline which is adequately funded operating under a statutory instrument which is relevant to the 21st century (which the Coast Protection Act is not) and 21st century problems i.e. global warming, climate change and sea level rise, within a socially just framework.”



Concern was expressed that decisions for the coast are primarily informed by science and engineering but there is an aversion to anecdotal evidence and what is often termed “lay science” from local input is excluded. It was claimed that local peoples’ views are only taken on board over time (if at all) and that there is a great need to increase stakeholder participation. The final decisions are made by elected people with no scientific background (hence the question was asked why can’t involve local people at the beginning of the decision-making process). It is key for decision-making bodies to get across to people how decisions are made. They should know who made the decision, how they made it and why they made it and this process should be transparent. 6.6 Social justice

The Foresight flood project came to the conclusion that when looking at engineering solutions the main problems of them related to social justice. The Shoreline Management Plans address the


technical aspects but have not got a way to take social justice and acceptability into the process. With regard to Foresight, one of the key outcomes was the need for a social research agenda. The technical aspects are well covered but the social aspects are less well covered. There is a need to continue funding in these areas and the recommendations from Foresight are that Defra should fund more social research since some questions have not been framed sufficiently well yet. 6.7 Coastal forums

Another suggestion is to introduce Coastal Citizens’ Forums that could operate by two potential models: 1. Consultative forum (c.f. Broads Authority) This would be a quasi formal group of representative interests providing an advisory and liaison service 2. Collectively of interests (This would be more of a “virtual group”) – engaged by officers, meeting rarely as a formal group. It would be connected by the web, by e-mail and telephone, and via many informal arrangements. All activities would be recorded and made available on a website and via bulletins and parish communicators. A key consideration for both would be how to ensure that there is adequate representation and hence legitimacy. It would be essential to find the correct level at which these coastal forums could best operate. One suggestion is at an SMP level with each SMP having its own coastal forum. However, the question arises if this would be suitable for local communities or would it be too big an area to cover. For example, SMP 3b covers area from Kelling to Lowestoft, and this may be too large an area to ensure fair representative from all the parishes. Stakeholder participation needs to be at every level of government and that need local/stakeholder input into all strategic documents. The issue of national and local coastal forums is important. There is a need to build on existing forums and not necessarily develop new ones. Theses structures have people involved who have commitment and believe in what they are doing but not being used effectively in flood and coastal management.


Planning decisions

The Government, in a recent commentary on PPS25, is beginning to realise that the procedures for planning decisions and for appeal should be rotted more firmly in flood/erosion risk over the very long term. There is a suggestion for automatic reference to ministers (the “call-in” power) where the advice of the Environment Agency, based on its flood hazard mapping procedures, is not heeded by the local planning authority. We go further, we advocate a joint decision responsibility for all future planning applications and decisions in any flood/erosion hazard designated zone. Only when the two sets of decision taking- a risk informed democracy – are combined can there be any assurance of future planning controls. Leaving critical land use planning decisions on mobile coasts to either body would not result in appropriate risk assessment on full democratic accountability over people’s property and economic livelihoods. Planning is designed to support a local economy, not to impede it.

7. Sustainability and designing a changing coastline
Sustainability applies to the principles of ensuring that natural processes are allowed to function so as to ensure long term resilience of the coast, that social fairness and equity of treatment is offered to both ecological and human interests, that procedures for maintaining and expanding local livelihoods are put in place, that the best science is used and the precautionary principle is involved where necessary, and that the final form of governance meets citizen needs and coastal integrity.


In particular, we urge a widening of the basis of the analysis of this vexed issue. We do not believe that sustainable coastal governance can be handled by the machinery of coastal management alone. The new Government response is couched in the framework of the new UK Sustainable Development Strategy. This brings with it fresh principles for promoting sustainability, new indicators including the indictor of well-being, and scope for involving regional institutions, local government sustainability strategies and funding, and agricultural policy reform. Above all, the new framework places social well-being and ecosystem functioning in a combined framework. Sustainable development is rooted in Central Government, Local Authorities and local communities and there is now an official Sustainable Development Strategy. . This provides the opportunity to redesigning communities, landscapes and wildlife. The Foresight Future Flooding project, which looked at four alternative futures, highlighted sustainability as a key factor. It showed that the way that responses to flooding and erosion and implemented influences social justice. The delivery of the responses is related to the question of governance. For example, there is currently fragmented governance in urban areas but responsive, science-supported governance should help in addressing flood risk reduction. The policy should be to open up research agenda on the issue of governance and flood risk, particularly with regard to planning matters. Above all, we believe that the future of coastal management lies in the linkage of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) to strategic coastal partnerships to sustainable rural communities design and implementation. The role of coastal management should be merged into the emerging concept of sustainable rural communalities and the delivery mechanisms of local strategic partnerships through the regional sustainable development machinery of Local Development Frameworks. In this way, the whole notion of coastal management widens to a much richer and better funded scope for redesigning the land-sea margin for comprehensive well-being along sustainability lines as laid down in the five principles of the Sustainable Development Strategy (see diagram below).


What is clear from this research project is it that there is a need to lock more firm-based with the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) exercise, to widen the basis of science predictions and visualisation, and to ensure that local communities are more sensitively and comprehensively engaged with the whole process of creating and re-creating Shoreline Management Plans over the coming decade. Right now there is no clear assessment of the various procedures used to upgrade and expand community involvement in Shoreline Management Plans. Nor is there a clear


lead as to how the proposed revision to PPS25 will actually relate to forecast coastal design and scientific findings. To its credit, the Government is ready to expand the scope of rural natural resource sustainability and locality, specific community involvement, and to try to ensure a better collaboration between the various agencies linked to the shoreline. In particular, this will include the Local Authorities, the Environment Agency, Natural England, English Heritage and the local parish councils and community forums, as well as particular economic and recreational stakeholder interests. It is this precise configuration of engagement and statutory responsibilities that is the centrepiece of the Government’s thinking. A comment was made at one of the project workshops that the world is changing but people don’t want it to change. Hence, a crucial component of coastal management and coastal governance for the UK is to provide adaptive mechanisms to allow the inevitable coastal change to be as painless as possible for the public to deal with. At the NNDC workshop it was stated that there is a need to link science with the wider settings. It was felt that organisations such as English Nature were taking on board the social interests at the coast and that changes should be seen as an opportunity and not a threat. There is also the need for links to be created between Policy Guidance and ICZM and the other Defra departments and the Department of Communities and Local Governance need to work more closely with the Defra flood management team. The issue of offshore dredging has been raised throughout this research project and is a subject of considerable debate. Dredging is an issue of huge local public concern. While that while there is no scientific evidence that there is an impact of dredging on erosion on the Norfolk coast, there is a problem in relation to the communication of the scientific information. There is a need to bring together all the information and make it accessible and allow transparency so that people can make their own minds up. It is possible that the proposed draft Marine Bill will take this further. We urge that the process of considering the Bill covers a better arrangement for strategic environmental assessment of all offshore dredging proposals on a coherent zonal basis, and that a re-articulated “North sea sediment audit” be continually reassessed and brought into the public domain as each dredging application is processed. Participants commented that the Defra/Tyndall/CSERGE workshop in January 2005 was one of the most open exchanges of views on the question of compensation/reimbursement that has occurred. Compensation/reimbursement had not been mentioned so openly before, even in the Foresight Future Flooding report. Hence, it was clear that things were moving on in terms of addressing the real issue facing coastal management in the UK. From the 3 workshops, it is now clear that while there is considerable protection for the environment (e.g. Water Framework Directive) there appears to be nothing comparable for communities. This lacuna in policy fairness is of grave concern to those whose properties and livelihoods are directly affected by flood and coastal erosion. Coastal governance simply has to change. It is neither tolerated nor reliable. It does not fit emerging policy frameworks, and is the subject of further Defra scrutiny. We urge that the Government host a series of workshop on this matter sooner rather than later. We are in a process of highly contested new Shoreline Management Plans, a new rural delivery agency based in functioning ecosystem design and sustainable rural communities, a cost-benefit scheme of points assessment that is out of kilter with risk-based long term changes, and a UK sustainable development strategy that is beginning to place its innovative perspective into contested regional and local planning arrangements. By any standards this is an uncertain and indeterminate period for trying to place a new generation of Shoreline Management Plans in a coastal governance system that is creating through its length and width. So we support a process of constructive delay to allow fresh approaches to shoreline management planning to be related to all of the governance recommendations that pepper this


analysis. But the battered coastline and its anxious residents deserve an opportunity to breathe and to refresh their energies for the cooperative and mutually responsive tests that lie ahead.


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The inter-disciplinary Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research undertakes integrated research into the long-term consequences of climate change for society and into the development of sustainable responses that governments, business-leaders and decision-makers can evaluate and implement. Achieving these objectives brings together UK climate scientists, social scientists, engineers and economists in a unique collaborative research effort. The Tyndall Centre is named after the 19th century UK scientist John Tyndall, who was the first to prove the Earth’s natural greenhouse effect and suggested that slight changes in atmospheric composition could bring about climate variations. In addition, he was committed to improving the quality of science education and knowledge. The Tyndall Centre is a partnership of the following institutions: University University University University University University of of of of of of East Anglia Manchester Southampton Sussex Oxford Newcastle

Recent Tyndall Centre Technical Reports Tyndall Centre Technical Reports are available online at eports/tech_reports.shtml
Anderson K., Bows A., Mander S, Shackley S., Agnolucci P., Ekins P., (2006) Decarbonising Modern Societies:Integrated Scenarios Process and Workshops, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 48. Gough C., Shackley S. (2005) An integrated Assesment of Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage in the UK. Tyndall Centre Technical Report 47. Nicholls R., Hanson S., Balson P., Brown I., French J., Spencer T., (2005) Capturing Geomorphological Change in the Coastal Simulator, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 46 Weatherhead K, Knox J, Ramsden S, Gibbons J, Arnell N. W., Odoni, N, Hiscock K, Sandhu C, Saich A., Conway D, Warwick C, Bharwani S, (2006) Sustainable water resources: A framework for assessing adaptation options in the rural sector, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 45 Weatherhead K, Knox J, Ramsden S, Gibbons J, Arnell N. W., Odoni, N, Hiscock K, Sandhu C, Saich A., Conway D, Warwick C, Bharwani S, (2006) Sustainable water resources: A framework for assessing adaptation options in the rural sector, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 44 Lowe, T. (2006) Vicarious experience vs. scientific information in climate change risk perception and behaviour: a case study of undergraduate students in Norwich, UK, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 43

The Centre is core funded by the following organisations: Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) For more information, visit the Tyndall Centre Web site ( or contact: Communications Manager Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK Phone: +44 (0) 1603 59 3906; Fax: +44 (0) 1603 59 3901 Email:

Atkinson, P, (2006) Towards an integrated
coastal simulator of the impact of sea level rise in East Anglia: Part B3- Coastal simulator and biodiversity - Modelling the change in wintering Twite Carduelis flavirostris populations in relation to changing saltmarsh area, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 42B3

Tratalos, J. A., Gill, J. A., Jones, A., Showler, D., Bateman, A., Watkinson, A., Sugden, R., and Sutherland, W. (2005) Interactions between tourism, breeding birds and climate change across a regional scale, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 36 Thomas, D., Osbahr, H., Twyman, C., Adger, W. N. and Hewitson, B., (2005) ADAPTIVE: Adaptations to climate change amongst natural resourcedependant societies in the developing world: across the Southern African climate gradient, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 35 Arnell, N. W., Tompkins, E. L., Adger, W. N. and Delany, K. (2005) Vulnerability to abrupt climate change in Europe, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 34 Shackley, S. and Anderson, K. et al. (2005) Decarbonising the UK: Energy for a climate conscious future, Tyndall Technical Report 33 Halliday, J., Ruddell, A., Powell, J. and Peters, M. (2005) Fuel cells: Providing heat and power in the urban environment, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 32 Haxeltine, A., Turnpenny, J., O’Riordan, T., and Warren, R (2005) The creation of a pilot phase Interactive Integrated Assessment Process for managing climate futures, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 31 Nedic, D. P., Shakoor, A. A., Strbac, G., Black, M., Watson, J., and Mitchell, C. (2005) Security assessment of futures electricity scenarios, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 30 Shepherd, J., Challenor, P., Marsh, B., Williamson, M., Yool, W., Lenton, T., Huntingford, C., Ridgwell, A and Raper, S. (2005) Planning and Prototyping a Climate Module for the Tyndall Integrated Assessment Model, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 29 Lorenzoni, I., Lowe, T. and Pidgeon, N. (2005) A strategic assessment of scientific and behavioural perspectives on ‘dangerous’ climate change, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 28 Boardman, B., Killip, G., Darby S. and Sinden, G, (2005) Lower Carbon Futures: the 40% House Project, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 27 Dearing, J.A., Plater, A.J., Richmond, N., Prandle, D. and Wolf , J. (2005) Towards a high resolution cellular model for coastal simulation (CEMCOS), Tyndall Centre Technical Report 26

Gill, J, Watkinson, A. and Sutherland, W.,
(2006) Towards an integrated coastal simulator of the impact of sea level rise in East Anglia: Part B2- Coastal simulator and biodiversity models of biodiversity responses to environmental change Tyndall Centre Technical Report 42B2

Ridley, J., Gill, J, Watkinson, A. and Sutherland, W., (2006) Towards an integrated
coastal simulator of the impact of sea level rise in East Anglia: Part B1- Coastal simulator and biodiversity - Design and structure of the coastal simulator Tyndall Centre Technical Report 42B1

Stansby, P., Launder B., Laurence, D., Kuang, C., and Zhou, J., (2006) Towards an integrated
coastal simulator of the impact of sea level rise in East Anglia: Part A- Coastal wave climate prediction and sandbanks for coastal protection Tyndall Centre Technical Report 42A

Lenton, T. M., Loutre, M. F, Williamson, M. S., Warren, R., Goodess, C., Swann, M., Cameron, D. R., Hankin, R., Marsh, R. and Shepherd, J. G., (2006) Climate change on the millennial
timescale, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 41 Bows, A., Anderson, K. and Upham, P. (2006) Contraction & Convergence: UK carbon emissions and the implications for UK air traffic, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 40 Starkey R., Anderson K., (2005) Domestic Tradeable Quotas: A policy instrument for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from energy use:, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 39 Pearson, S., Rees, J., Poulton, C., Dickson, M., Walkden, M., Hall, J., Nicholls, R., Mokrech, M., Koukoulas, S. and Spencer, T. (2005) Towards an integrated coastal sediment dynamics and shoreline response simulator, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 38 Sorrell, S. (2005) The contribution of energy service contracting to a low carbon economy, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 37

Timms, P., Kelly, C., and Hodgson, F., (2005) World transport scenarios project, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 25 Brown, K., Few, R., Tompkins, E. L., Tsimplis, M. and Sortti, (2005) Responding to climate change: inclusive and integrated coastal analysis, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 24 Anderson, D., Barker, T., Ekins, P., Green, K., Köhler, J., Warren, R., Agnolucci, P., Dewick, P., Foxon, T., Pan, H. and Winne, S. (2005) ETech+: Technology policy and technical change, a dynamic global and UK approach, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 23 Abu-Sharkh, S., Li, R., Markvart, T., Ross, N., Wilson, P., Yao, R., Steemers, K., Kohler, J. and Arnold, R. (2005) Microgrids: distributed on-site generation, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 22 Shepherd, D., Jickells, T., Andrews, J., Cave, R., Ledoux, L, Turner, R., Watkinson, A., Aldridge, J. Malcolm, S, Parker, R., Young, E., Nedwell, D. (2005) Integrated modelling of an estuarine environment: an assessment of managed realignment options, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 21 Dlugolecki, A. and Mansley, M. (2005) Asset management and climate change, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 20 Shackley, S., Bray, D. and Bleda, M., (2005) Developing discourse coalitions to incorporate stakeholder perceptions and responses within the Tyndall Integrated Assessment, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 19 Dutton, A. G., Bristow, A. L., Page, M. W., Kelly, C. E., Watson, J. and Tetteh, A. (2005) The Hydrogen energy economy: its long term role in greenhouse gas reduction, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 18 Few, R. (2005) Health and flood risk: A strategic assessment of adaptation processes and policies, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 17 Brown, K., Boyd, E., Corbera-Elizalde, E., Adger, W. N. and Shackley, S (2004) How do CDM projects contribute to sustainable development? Tyndall Centre Technical Report 16 Levermore, G, Chow, D., Jones, P. and Lister, D. (2004) Accuracy of modelled extremes of temperature and climate change and its implications for the built environment in the UK, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 14

Jenkins, N., Strbac G. and Watson J. (2004) Connecting new and renewable energy sources to the UK electricity system, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 13 Palutikof, J. and Hanson, C. (2004) Integrated assessment of the potential for change in storm activity over Europe: Implications for insurance and forestry, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 12 Berkhout, F., Hertin, J., and Arnell, N. (2004) Business and Climate Change: Measuring and Enhancing Adaptive Capacity, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 11 Tsimplis, S. et al (2004) Towards a vulnerability assessment for the UK coastline, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 10 Gill, J., Watkinson, A. and Côté, I (2004). Linking sea level rise, coastal biodiversity and economic activity in Caribbean island states: towards the development of a coastal island simulator, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 9 Skinner, I., Fergusson, M., Kröger, K., Kelly, C. and Bristow, A. (2004) Critical Issues in Decarbonising Transport, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 8 Adger W. N., Brooks, N., Kelly, M., Bentham, S. and Eriksen, S. (2004) New indicators of vulnerability and adaptive capacity, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 7 Macmillan, S. and Köhler, J.H., (2004) Modelling energy use in the global building stock: a pilot survey to identify available data, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 6 Steemers, K. (2003) Establishing research directions in sustainable building design, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 5 Goodess, C.M. Osborn, T. J. and Hulme, M. (2003) The identification and evaluation of suitable scenario development methods for the estimation of future probabilities of extreme weather events, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 4 Köhler, J.H. (2002). Modelling technological change, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 3 Gough, C., Shackley, S., Cannell, M.G.R. (2002). Evaluating the options for carbon sequestration, Tyndall Centre Technical Report 2 Warren, R. (2002). A blueprint for integrated assessment of climate change, Tyndall CentreTechnical Report 1

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