Destruction of Norfolk’s Golden Sand Beaches

The Government’s new generation of Shoreline Management Plans are the pathfinder plans for the coastal defence for all England’s coastline. Their policy of “Managed Retreat” is systematically destroying the golden sand beaches of most of England’s coast, so they will not be available to be enjoyed by future generations.

Marinet Members in Norfolk and Suffolk and other Members who have enjoyed holidays on Norfolk’s golden sand beaches should be aware that these beaches will not be able to be enjoyed by future generations because they are gradually being sucked into the sea. This is due to the intense offshore aggregate dredging which is removing millions of tonnes of sea-bed material along the Norfolk and Suffolk Coastline and because the (one of three) new generation Shoreline Management Plans (SPM 3b) which covers Kelling (in North Norfolk) to Lowestoft Ness (in Suffolk) has a policy of Managed Realignment for coastal defences.

Except for towns and industrial developments, the policy for a significant number of holiday and residential areas in this plan is ‘No Active Intervention’ (NAI). In other words, no sea defences allowed and nothing else allowed to be put in place by coastal home owners — even those who own the land up the low tide mark — to protect the beaches, their homes and infrastructure from the increased erosion in the areas with a policy of NAI.

The Kelling to Lowestoft Ness Shoreline Management Plan (First Review) Final Report was issued in November 2006 When this report was issued by the Anglian Coastal Authorities Group (ACAG) there were more than 2,400 responses to its public consultation, with only 10 of these respondents finding this plan acceptable.

In addition to all the objections from local Authorities, Local Groups and individuals, there were many public meetings with strong objection to SMP 3b which had changed the policy of “Hold the Line” in many previous local authorities coastal protection plans (i.e. unit 3b 14 Winterton to Scratby) to “No Active Intervention” in the SMP 3b, i.e. do nothing and let the coastline erode with subsequent losses of beaches, homes, land and infrastructure.

Despite this overwhelming local objection to SMP3b it was adopted by the government (DEFRA and the Environment Agency) as their top level coastal protection procedure document with polices to do nothing (in most areas) for the next 100 years.

The only thing the 2,390 objections to the original SPM3b achieved was to force the authorities to carry out a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) on it.

The complete SEA report is now available for download from the North Norfolk District Council web-site Click on environment, coastal management, SMP, Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).

Please read this SEA report which (in my opinion) although very comprehensive with additional detail on water quality, SSSISSSI Site of special scientific interest etc. has not recommended that the policy of “No Active Intervention” be changed for any of the units in the original November 2006 SMP report. So please confirm your original objections to the Kelling to Lowestoft Ness Shoreline Management Plan (SMP 3b) in this SEA report.

People who have not been involved in this lengthy consultation process please write to your MP regarding this planned destruction of many of our precious beaches and much of our coastline.

You can also object to the website response address to this disregard of and planned destruction of the Norfolk coastline.

Additional Information

Response to this SEA on the Kelling to Lowestoft Ness Shoreline Management Plan.

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