Beachy Head to Selsey Bill

This Shoreline Management Plan covers Beachy Head to Selsey Bill.

The review of the original South Downs Shoreline Management Plan (1996/7) was one of three plans to be used as a pilot to enable the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) to develop new guidance on the development of second generation SMPs (known as SMP2s). The Policy Options set out in the Plan were all adopted by the relevant Operating Authorities in 2006.

Since then Defra has transferred all of its ‘delivery’ responsibilities to the Environment Agency (EA) under the Agency’s new Strategic Overview role that came into effect in April 2008.

With twenty second-generation plans being prepared, there is a need to ensure completeness and consistency before approving these Plans. Accordingly, the Agency has developed a National Quality Review (QRP) process. The QRP and subsequent approval by EA Regional Director confirms that all the necessary processes were followed in the preparation of this Plan. Given that the policy options were prepared and approved by the Operating Authorities, including the EA’s Regional Flood Defence Committee before 2006, the quality review process has not re-examined adopted policy options.

Changes of policy between SMP1 and SMP2 are set out in table at paragraph 4.3.2 of the main document. With time, the preferred policy options may change for any number of reasons. In the case of this SMP2, there has been a change of policy options driven by the subsequent and more detailed work of flood and coastal risk management strategies. These changes are set out at the end of this section and should be taken into account whilst reading the main SMP2 document.

To ensure that the Plan remains a “living” plan, an audit trail/change register including the above items, will be maintained.

The available guidance on the need for an Appropriate Assessment during the development of this “pilot” Plan was unclear. Accordingly, an Appropriate Assessment has since been carried out and Natural England has written to confirm that it agrees with the conclusions of the Appropriate Assessment for the Selsey to Beachy Head SMP2. It was concluded that the SMP2 will not have an adverse effect on the integrity of the European site (Pagham Harbour SPA) and that the SMP is likely to lead to an environmentally acceptable solution. A copy of the Appropriate Assessment and Natural England’s letter is available separately or from the Coastal Group’s Website.

Changes in policy options since the SMP2 was adopted by authorities in 2006

Readers of this SMP2 should note that to date, there are 3 locations where there is a change in policy option as a result of newer and more detailed Strategy assessment. These locations are as follows:

  • Pagham Harbour – policy unit 4d25 – The SMP2 indicates a policy of Managed Realignment – given the very dynamic and heavily environmentally designated nature of the area, the Pagham to East Head Coastal Defence Strategy has adopted a policy of “Adaptive Management”.
  • Climping – policy unit 4d20 – The SMP2 indicates a policy of Managed Realignment – following the work done in the Arun to Pagham Draft Flood and Erosion Risk Management Strategy (currently in its Public Consultation stage), a policy of Do Nothing (Withdrawal of Maintenance) is currently being suggested.
  • Cuckmere Haven – policy unit 4d02 – The medium and long term policies within the SMP2 were for No Active Intervention following the Managed Realignment of the first epoch. The subsequently adopted Strategy policy for this area is for No Active Intervention immediately: Notice of Withdrawal of Maintenance has already been served. Whilst this is a change of policy it is more a bringing forward of policy. Please see the  Cuckmere Estuary Flood Risk Management Strategy.

Download the Beachy Head to Selsey Bill shoreline management plan

View the approved appendices

View the approved annexes