Cumbria Coastal Strategy

The Cumbria Coastal Strategy (CCS) will be a plan to evaluate and manage the risks related to coastal flooding and erosion along the Cumbrian coastline on a long-term scale. Following on from the North West Shoreline Management Plan (SMP2) which covered the coastline from the Great Orme in North Wales to the Scottish Border, the need for a more focused Strategy was identified. The CCS will assess the existing condition of land and flood defences along the coastline and build on the existing proposals set out in the SMP2, identifying potential future interventions required.

The key objectives of the CCS are:

  • To evaluate the risk of flooding and erosion along the Cumbrian coastline;

  • Identify properties and infrastructure at risk;

  • Identify and evaluate potential long-term solutions;

  • Form a robust and objective evidence base; and

  • To provide a framework for future infrastructure and development.

The Cumbria Coastal Strategy will be produced over a 24 month period, with an estimated completion date of July 2019.

Some of the key stages and estimated timescales include:

  • Data and baseline information review (June - September 2017)

  • Consideration of risks, opportunities and priority areas (July - December 2017)

  • Strategic Environmental Assessment scoping (November - February 2018)

  • Options Development and Appraisal (January - April 2018)

  • Consultation on draft options (April 2018)

  • Identification of preferred options (April - November 2018)

  • Draft Strategy production (September - December 2018)

  • Consultation on Draft Strategy (December - May 2019)

  • Strategy Appraisal Report (June 2019)

  • Strategy and project completion (July 2019)

The CCS was initiated by the North West Regional Flood & Coastal Committee, recognising the success of strategies in other areas, including Lancashire. The CCS is being project managed by Cumbria County Council in its role as the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA), supporting the five second tier Local Authorities in their role as Coast Protection Authorities for the coastline. A Project Review Group of local stakeholders has been formed to help identify issues and opportunities and contribute valuable knowledge to the development of the CCS.

Cumbria County Council has appointed the consultants CH2M to undertake the development of the strategy.

Cumbria Coastal Strategy Project Review Group Organisations (PDF 18kb)

Progress to end of February 2018

Responses from statutory consultees on the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Scoping Report were received during February and are currently being reviewed and addressed. No 'show stoppers' have been raised by the respondents.

Technical, environmental and economic assessments are continuing as part of developing options for managing risks related to coastal flooding or erosion in the defined priority areas. Assessment of economic damages under the Do-Nothing baseline option is underway, following Defra / Environment Agency guidance.

Progress to end of January 2018

Technical and environmental assessments are underway as part of developing options for managing risks related to coastal flooding or erosion in the defined priority areas. This includes reviewing condition and residual life of existing defences and using topographic data to determine potential flood and erosion extents for the Do Nothing baseline option. 

Progress to end of December 2017

A scoping report for the strategy's Strategic Environmental Assessment has been prepared and issued to statutory consultees for comment; and the consideration of potential options in the priority areas is underway.

Cumbria Coastal Strategy Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Scoping Report (PDF 2mb)

Appendix A - Cumbria Coastal Strategy SEA Feedback (Word 35kb)

Appendix B - SEA Scoping Receptors (PDF 845kb)

Shoreline Management Plan Summary (PDF 195kb)

Progress to end of November 2017

So far, the coastline has been assessed to identify risks and issues, and consultation has been undertaken to identify the areas that will be considered a priority within the CCS. These priority areas represent stretches of frontage where:

  • There are key assets at risk from flooding or coastal erosion over the next century (the Strategy lifetime); or
  • The SMP policy has been queried, for example due to a change in risk or new information; or
  • There may be environmental opportunities, which could bring wider benefits to an area.

Cumbria Coastal Strategy Map of Priority Areas (PDF 1,946kb)

The scope of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) will be finalised taking account of comments received.

The Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) will assess the environmental impact of the proposed coastal risk management options. The SEA will include potential impacts on aspects such as human health, local economic interests, recreational facilities, community severance, biodiversity, geology and heritage. The first stage of the SEA has assessed the priority areas and identified the potentially sensitive assets or areas that could be affected.

The next stage in the development of the CCS is to carry out technical and environmental assessments along the coastline, developing options for managing risks related to coastal flooding or erosion in the priority areas. Stakeholders will be consulted regarding these options and the SEA will evaluate their potential effects (both positive or negative) in an Environmental Report. Following this, preferred options will be selected to form the long term Strategy.

We anticipate consulting on draft options in early summer 2018.

There will be opportunity to contribute to the strategy by:

  • Attending a consultation event or providing online feedback to comment on the shortlisted options and the perceived advantages and disadvantages of these options (Spring 2018); and 

  • Commenting on the draft CCS, options and the Environmental Report (Spring 2019).

If you have any queries or comments regarding the Cumbria Coastal Strategy project, please contact the project team at