Government polices to help communities adapt to coastal change.
Coastal change can affect people in both positive and negative ways. Eroding coasts can place houses, businesses and farmland at risk, yet others may benefit from sediment moving along the shoreline and keeping natural defences such as beaches and marshes healthy.
The risk from erosion can bring problems for home and land owners relating to insurance, property values and planning permission. Although insurance may be provided against sea flooding, there is no insurance against coastal erosion.
In some locations it is not possible or appropriate to defend against erosion or maintain existing defences. Where this is the case, the Environment Agency, Defra and local authorities will work closely with communities to help them adapt to the changes.
Adapting to coastal change
To support communities and local authorities in shaping the way they adapt to coastal change, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) published Adapting to Coastal Change: Developing a Policy Framework in March 2010. This sets out a range of possible adaptation approaches for communities, businesses and local infrastructure as well as the natural and historic environment.
Some of these ideas are being explored in a series of local authority projects funded by Defra - referred to as 'coastal change pathfinders'.
Adapting to Coastal Change: Develeoping a Policy Framework also confirms the introduction of a grant available to local authorities to help with the costs of demolishing properties at risk of imminent loss because of coastal erosion.
For homeowners: If your property is one of these, you should contact your local authority to enquire about the ‘coastal erosion assistance grant’.
Local authorities should contact us for an application form on 01392 442 004, or at Laidbfinance@environment-agency.gov.uk
Planning at the coast
The way we plan our built environment is also important for how communities adapt to a changing coast. The Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) leads on planning policy, which includes new policy on coastal change published in March 2010. This seeks to balance risk from coastal change with the need to enable coastal settlements to thrive and regenerate.
This Planning Policy Statement is included in the general review of the Government's planning policy and guidance, the 'National Planning Policy Framework', to be consulted upon in summer 2011.