Current coast protection plans and strategies

The Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) provides a large-scale assessment of the risks associated with coastal evolution and presents a policy framework to address these risks to people and the developed, historic and natural environment in a sustainable manner.

For the Arun District there are three applicable Coastal Defence Strategies (depending on which area of the district you live in). These are the Rivers Arun to Adur Flood and Erosion Management Strategy 2010-2020, the River Arun to Pagham Flood and Coastal Risk Management Strategy, and the Pagham to East Head Coastal Defence Strategy. These provide a more detailed analysis of specific frontages and the challenges they face.  They also include recommendations for potential management solutions for the medium to long term.

In addition, there are the Littlehampton to Brighton Marina and Selsey to Littlehampton Beach Management Plans.  These utilise and give a summary of the data collected through monitoring which was instigated following the writing of the SMP.

It is important to note that none of these policies are statutory, they are intended to guide the planning process and illustrate how defences could be managed in the future.

The Arun district coastal strip is heavily populated and as a result of this the Shoreline Management Plan has set a policy of ‘hold the line’ across the majority of the district, whereby we endeavour to provide protection to the existing built infrastructure.  Pagham is the notable exception where the Pagham to East Head Coastal Defence Strategy recommends adopting an ‘adaptive management’ approach and readers are guided to the Pagham specific page for more information. 

The defences across the District comprise approximately 285 timber and rock groynes, sea walls, timber breastwork, rock breakwaters, revetments and recycled shingle.  These are all monitored through regular inspections and repaired/replaced on a priority basis.

In addition, monitoring is carried out on a regional level by Channel Coast Observatory.  The programme provides a consistent regional approach to coastal process monitoring, information for the operational management of coastal protection and flood defence as well as providing information for the development of strategic shoreline management plans and coastal defence strategies


Funding Coast Protection

The Government’s current initiative for funding capital works (e.g. major groyne replacement schemes) is known as Partnership Funding; this sees any shortfall in Government ‘Grant in Aid’ needing to be topped up with third party contributions. If or when any Partnership Funding might be required, those directly benefitting from the defence are likely to be approached i.e. those likely to be at risk from flooding or erosion within the timescale of the scheme. More information about partnership funding may be found here.

In addition, Arun District Council also undertakes revenue works of repair and maintenance of our assets. These small scale projects are currently funded by the Council on a priority basis.