This Shoreline Management Plan covers Isle of Grain to South Foreland.
The review of the original North Kent Coast: Isle of Grain to Dover Harbour SMP (1996) has been carried out following the guidance developed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) leading to this second generation SMP. The development of this ‘open coast’ SMP was carried out in close co-operation with the Medway Estuary and Swale SMP, sharing the same Client Steering Group.
The Policy Options set out in the Plan were all adopted by the relevant Operating Authorities in the first half of 2008. Since then Defra has transferred all of its ‘delivery’ responsibilities to the Environment Agency (EA) under their Strategic Overview role, which came into effect in April 2008.
With 22 (England and Wales) second-generation SMPs being prepared, there is a need to ensure completeness and consistency before progressing to approval. Accordingly, the EA has established a national Quality Review Group (QRG) and a process to appraise and review all plans before a recommendation for approval is provided by the QRG Chair to the approving officer (EA Regional Director).
The recommendation and subsequent approval by the EA Regional Director confirms that the Plan is fit for purpose, that correct processes have been followed in the preparation of this SMP and that the reports have been produced in accordance with the Guidance Note published by Defra in 2006. Given that the policy options were prepared in 2007 and approved by the Operating Authorities, including the EA’s Regional Flood Defence Committee before the QRG was initiated, the QRG have not re-examined the adopted policy options. However, the QRG has initiated production of a stand-alone Strategic Environmental Assessment and a Water Framework Directive Assessment prior to finalisation of the Plan.
In time, the preferred policy options may change for any number of reasons and to ensure that the Plan continues to provide a “live” record of any changes, an audit trail/change register will be regularly updated and maintained on this website.
An Appropriate Assessment was carried out as part of the SMP and Natural England has written to confirm that they agree with the conclusions of the Appropriate Assessment for the Isle of Grain to South Foreland SMP. The Appropriate Assessment concluded that it is not possible to demonstrate that the SMP does not have an adverse effect on the integrity of the Thames Estuary & Marshes Ramsar/ Special Protection Are (SPA), Swale Ramsar/ SPA. Consequently, in accordance with Regulations 49(5) and 51(2) of the Habitats Regulations, an Appendix 20 application was made to the Secretary of State for Defra to consider the case for Overriding Public Interest. This case was accepted by Defra who consequently confirmed that they had no objections to the intention to approve the SMP (see Appendix J).