Living and building on the coast

Living on the coast

Arun is a coastal district and many of our residents choose to live here as they enjoy the benefits of being close to the sea.  We enjoy beautiful stretches of beach, with a range of leisure activities and there are well documented health benefits associated with living by the sea.  However, alongside these great advantages there are also risks and challenges that come with buying property on the coast. 


There can be no guarantee that properties are 100% safe. Living close to the sea always carries some level of risk; owners should be aware of this and should take appropriate precautionary measures if they consider it necessary. 

The highest risk is that your home may be subjected to flooding or erosion.  If you are considering buying property in the district we strongly recommend you check the risk of flooding on the Environment Agency website. Living in an area with a high risk of flooding will likely affect your insurance premiums.

There are no published data sets to assess risk of erosion for individual properties. However, interested parties are guided to the coast protection strategies on this webpage and National Coastal Erosion Risk mapping (2018-2021, or 2012-2017) in order to make their own assessment.

Neither Arun District Council nor the Environment Agency have a duty to protect the coast from erosion or flooding. The various Acts of Parliament under which we work, provide powers to Arun to reduce the risk of erosion and the Environment Agency to reduce the risk of flooding.  We direct readers to the Coast Protection Act 1949 and the Land Drainage Act 1991 which primarily guide the work that we undertake.

Building on the Coast

Before embarking on a construction project on the coast developers are guided to read our information on Living on the Coast.

In addition, we recommend familiarising yourself with the Adopted Local Plan 2018 and specifically to Chapter 18: Water which covers both risk of flooding and erosion by the sea.  In considering new locations for development, and to minimise future risks, it is also important that developers consult the latest Strategic Flood Risk Assessment which details current data and maps to ensure that development is avoided in areas at risk of flooding. 

Arun District Council may hold non-digitalised records of coastal flooding, including some spatial data.  These records can be obtained by contacting the engineering department at