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
  • To provide a framework for future infrastructure and development.

The Cumbria Coastal Strategy will be produced over a 26 month period, with an estimated completion date of September 2019.

Some of the key stages and estimated timescales include:

  • data and baseline information review (June to September 2017)
  • consideration of risks, opportunities and priority areas (July to December 2017)
  • strategic Environmental Assessment scoping (November 2017 to March 2018)
  • options Development and Appraisal (February to August 2018)
  • engagement on draft options (November and December 2018)
  • identification of preferred options (December 2018 to April 2019)
  • draft Strategy production (January to May 2019)
  • consultation on Draft Strategy (May to July 2019)
  • strategy Appraisal Report (August 2019)
  • strategy and project completion (September 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 September 2018

During September we have been making final changes to the draft options assessments. These will shortly be available to download from this website. We are now in the process of putting together information and materials for the public engagement. 

Progress to end of August 2018

During August the draft options assessments reports have been updated following comments from project partners on drafts and the updates reissued to project partners for any final comments prior to upload to the website for wider engagement. 

Progress to end of July 2018

During July the draft options assessments have been under review by the project partners and work has been underway to update the drafts taking comments into consideration and to add in the economic assessment information.

Meetings have been held with the Project Review Group members and with the Environment Agency and Local Authority project partners to discuss draft findings.

Progress to end of June 2018

As in May technical, environmental and economic assessments have continued, developing appropriate options for managing risks related to coastal flooding or erosion in the remainder of the defined priority areas. 

Cost estimates have been derived for the short-listed options and combined with estimates of maintenance costs to derive whole life discounted 'present value' cost estimates for comparison to the economic benefits.

Preliminary draft option appraisal documents have been shared with the local authority and Environment Agency project partners for review. The review and finalisation of draft documents has been taking longer than originally planned.

Progress to end of May 2018

Technical, environmental and economic assessments have continued through May, developing appropriate options for managing risks related to coastal flooding or erosion in the defined priority areas.

Baseline economic assessments have been undertaken for each of the priority frontages to derive national economic benefits of maintaining or improving coastal defences. The benefits are derived from reducing future economic damages from coastal flooding and erosion to properties and infrastructure. This has considered a worst-case baseline "Do Nothing" walk away from coastal management scenario in order to derive benefits of interventions over the 100-year strategy appraisal.

The updated SEA scoping report, taking account of the responses from the statutory consultees has been made available on the website.

Progress to end of April 2018

Technical, environmental and economic assessments that were underway in March have continued through April, developing options for managing risks related to coastal flooding or erosion in the defined priority areas.

Baseline economic assessments underway are involving calculation of the impacts of future coastal flooding and erosion risk to properties and infrastructure. This is being undertaken for each of the priority frontage flood and erosion risk areas under a "Do Nothing" walk away from coastal management scenario. The purpose of this assessment is to enable the calculation of the benefits of maintaining or improving coastal defences.

Consideration has also begun on developing plans for consultation on the strategy options. It is presently expected that when ready information will be made available for download from this website and there may also be public drop in events at 3 or 4 locations.

Updates have been made to the SEA scoping report to take account of the responses from the statutory consultees and the updated document will be made available on the website shortly.

Progress to end of March 2018

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. This has included meetings and visits to gather additional data from project partners on the status of the defences in some of these areas.

This stage of the project involves looking at a range of different approaches to how we can sustainably manage the coastline in the future, building upon policies defined in the current Shoreline Management Plan. Development of options has used information on assets at risk from coastal flood and erosion risk, combined with assessments of the type, condition and remaining life of existing defences and latest data on shoreline change.

Approaches include short term measures to delay erosion through to longer term, formal defences, and have considered the use of hard (seawall) and soft (beach) options, as well as other structures such as revetments, ranging from traditional approaches through to more innovative solutions, if suitable for a particular location.

The possible impacts, of the various options, on the coast and hinterland, both locally and farther afield, are also being considered at this stage. This appraisal takes account of the potential effects on communities, users of the coast, transport linkages and industry, as well as on features of the coast that are designated for their environmental or historical importance. This assessment considers both short term and long term effects, as the strategy needs to look forward to the next 100 years.

The possible costs of appropriate options are also being developed, together with considering economic damages and benefits, both of which will feed into the decision-making process.

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.

The possible costs of appropriate options are also being developed, together with considering economic damages and benefits, both of which will feed into the decision-making process.

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 1326kb)

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)

We will shortly be inviting comments on the short list options developed for the priority coastal frontages. For non-priority areas we will be seeking feedback on the proposed future actions in those areas.

Everyone living, visiting or working on or near the coast is invited to take part in determining how their local coastline should be managed. We will be holding a series of drop-in events and will also make information available on this website. Dates for the drop-in events will be posted on the website in the next few weeks.

Feedback from this engagement will be used to decide on preferred options for the priority frontages. Further work will then be undertaken to produce a draft Strategy Report. This will set out for each frontage what actions are likely to be needed in the future.

We will consult with you again on this document through our website www.cumbria.gov.uk/ccs. This will give all interested parties a chance to express their views on the final proposals. We anticipate that this will be in summer 2019.

There will be opportunity to contribute to the strategy by:

  • providing online feedback through this website or attending a drop-in engagement event to comment on the shortlisted options and the perceived advantages and disadvantages of these options (late November and December 2018); and 
  • commenting on the draft Cumbria coastal Strategy, options and the Environmental Report (Summer 2019).
If you have any queries or comments regarding the Cumbria Coastal Strategy project, please contact the project team at CCS@cumbria.gov.uk