Shoreline Management Plans | Coastal Partnership East

Shoreline Management Plans

Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs) are non-statutory plans for coastal defence management planning. The aim of an SMP is to provide a strategy for managing flood and erosion risk for a particular stretch of coastline.

The SMPs provide estimates of how the coast is likely to change over the next 100 years, taking into account the future implementation of coastal policies, geology, likely impacts of climate change and the existing condition of the coast including coastal defences.

A national refresh of SMPs began in 2019. This was to make sure that the plans were up to date in the light of any new evidence, reliable and visible. It also aimed to allow for their ongoing maintenance and delivery, particularly in guiding policy transitions from 2025 onwards. The refresh process led to new national Supplementary Guidance and Health Check recommendations for each SMP in 2020. These recommendations are being taken forward and a national SMP Explorer tool is being developed to allow people to access SMP policies for each part of the coast.

Four Shoreline Management Plans are active along the north Norfolk and Suffolk coastal frontage:

• SMP 5 which incorporates the coast to the west of Kelling Hard. Click here for details.

• SMP 6 which incorporates the coast to the east of Kelling Hard to Lowestoft Ness. Click here for details.

• SMP 7 covers Lowestoft Ness to Landguard Point. Click here for details.

• SMP 8 then covers south of Landguard Point to Two Tree Island. Click here for details.

Shoreline Management Plans exist around all of the coastline of England and Wales. This work is led by the Environment Agency. Take a look at how the Environment Agency and local councils are developing shoreline management plans to manage the threat of coastal change on the GOV.UK website, where you can access all SMPs in England and Wales.

SMP Review Documents

East Suffolk Council worked in partnership with key stakeholders and landowners to identify a sustainable management policy for the above frontage. The Review concluded after Stage 1 as this identified no need for a policy change. This was agreed with the community at the Suffolk Coast Forum. Link to stage 1 report here.

There are several background reports related to this process that can be found here:
Bawdsey Coastal Process Assessment 2016 click here
Bawdsey Coastal Processes Study 2015 click here
Bawdsey to Shingle Street Report for Natural England 2017 click here
Coastal Study for Bawdsey Coastal Partnership click here
East Lane Bawdsey Cliff Recession Study 2011 CH2M click here

Following a public consultation in 2019, there will be a policy change from No Active Intervention to Managed Realignment. This has been approved by the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee and East Suffolk Council’s Cabinet.
For more information please see

East Suffolk Council
Great Yarmouth Borough Council
North Norfolk District Council

Coastal Partnership East | Shoreline Management Plans