Changes to Shoreline Plan?

Brandon Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth, who was appointed Minister of State for Housing and Planning at the Department for Communities and Local Government on 15th July 2014, has just written the following in his 7th November 2014 Newsletter.

Shoreline Management Plan 'Can Be Amended'

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Elizabeth Truss MP, has confirmed that a major obstacle to coastal defences at Hemsby may be overcome.

The Shoreline Management Plan (SMP), which governs coastline policy between Kelling and Lowestoft Ness, has been a major pitfall in the campaign to protect Hemsby beach. In a letter to me, the Secretary of State confirms that the Environment Agency can consider applications to alter the SMP by Great Yarmouth Borough Council. In her letter, which can be seen here, Ms Truss also pledges the assistance of the Department in the formulation of he application.

The potential flexibility in the SMP as outlined by the Government is fantastic news for the residents of Hemsby. If the SMP can be altered to reflect the needs of the area, as well as the altered coastline, we will be one step closer to coastal defences for Hemsby. I have written to Great Yarmouth Borough Council to offer my full support and I look forward to seeing an application lodged to update the SMP.

This is not just relevant to Hemsby either. Areas like Hopton and Scratby may well benefit from alterations to the SMP. I will continue to work with all groups to find a sustainable solution to the challenges we face up and down the coast.

Note that it says that the SMP "Can be amended" and "may be overcome", not 'may be amended', and certainly not 'will be amended'. So, with an election on the horizon, we must keep pushing hard on this for a definite conclusion and outcome.

When the SMP for the East Coast was put out for consultation in 2006 over 2,400 people responded. Of these, only six were in favour of the proposals, four 'didn't know' whilst 2,390 were totally against. That's a 99.9% refusal. Yet it was enforced by being steamrollered through regardless.

The letter from Elizabeth Truss to Brandon Lewis can be read at

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