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Shoreline management plan

The Shoreline Management Plan is a non-statutory policy document advising on how the coastline should change in the long term. It helps planners and regulators to plan for and manage the way that the coast will change. This could be by:

  • maintaining or improving defences
  • allowing natural processes
  • creating new habitats
  • limiting the impact of flooding

The plan does this by:

  • identifying risks to the developed, historic and natural environments as the coast changes
  • creating policies to manage the risks sustainably
  • assessment of the coastline and predicting how the coast will change over time

The Shoreline Management Plan only sets out policy for coastal defence management. It doesn't set policy for any other ways of managing flood risk (such as land drainage) or for the management of coastal resources.

Local authorities and regulators with responsibilities for managing the shoreline will be asked to adopt the Shoreline Management Plan. They will have to make their decisions based on the plan. This will help ensure that future developments are not put at higher risk of flood or coastal erosion.

Shoreline Management Plan

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