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 has been developed to allow people to access SMP policies for each part of the coast. 

View it here.

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

Following the completion and approval of the Gorleston to Lowestoft Coastal Strategy, a change of SMP 6 policy was approved in 2017 from Managed Realignment in the second and third epochs (medium to long-term) to Hold the Line for the following policy units: Hopton Policy Unit 6.20 and Corton Policy Unit 6.22.

There are several background reports related to this process that can be found here:
Anglian (Eastern) Regional Flood and Coastal Committee paper click here
Environment Committee Report click here
Anglian (Eastern) Regional Flood and Coastal Committee minutes extract click here
Gorleston to Lowestoft Coastal Strategy click here

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 was be a policy change from No Active Intervention to Managed Realignment. This was approved by the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee and East Suffolk Council’s Cabinet.

Consultation documents:
Information booklet click here.
SMP Policy Review Phase 1-3 click here.
Geomorphological Assessment click here.
Presentation to the Suffolk Coast Forum (June 2019) click here.

A change of SMP 7 policy was approved in 2015 from No Active Intervention in the first and second epochs (short and medium term) to Managed Realignment in policy unit MIN 13.3. A change was also approved from No Active Intervention in all epochs to Managed Realignment in policy unit ALB 14.1. For more information please click here.

East Suffolk Council
Great Yarmouth Borough Council
North Norfolk District Council

Coastal Partnership East | Shoreline Management Plans