Consultation: Lincolnshire coastal flood risk management strategy

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The Environment Agency (EA) is launching a consultation on Monday 3 June on its new draft strategy to manage coastal flood risk between Saltfleet and Gibraltar Point over the next 100 years.

The EA’s current flood defence work along this stretch of Lincolnshire’s coastline manages coastal flood risk for 20,000 residential homes, 1,700 businesses, 24,500 static caravans, 35,000 hectares of farmland and a bustling tourist industry. The EA’s existing flood management approach for the area is to nourish beaches on an annual basis to replenish sand lost to the sea over the year. This approach, without any additional control measures, is unlikely to remain a sustainable long term solution.

This consultation provides residents, business owners and other stakeholders with an opportunity to give their views on the new strategy, which will allow the EA to continue to manage coastal flood risk in the most sustainable way, to meet the Shoreline Management Plan Policy of ‘hold the line’ and to keep pace with climate change.

The draft strategy proposes a new approach, which looks to introduce rock structures onto the beach in combination with continued beach nourishment to reduce sand movement. These structures can take many forms but are likely to be rock in the shape of either groynes, fishtails or a combination of the two. The configuration and exact size of the structures will be determined through detailed analysis and technical appraisals during the delivery phase of the strategy.

A full Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) has been carried out on the approaches considered as part of the strategy development and consultation on the output of this process (the Strategic Environmental Assessment Environmental Report) will run concurrently with the consultation on the draft strategy. The SEA has been instrumental in ensuring that the potential environmental impacts (both positive and negative) of the approaches have been fully embedded within the decision making process, and have thus influenced the selection of the preferred management approach.

It is our aspiration therefore to continue to manage coastal flood risk to this area, where possible, without negatively impacting the wealth of species, habitats, landscapes and seascapes, and heritage assets that the Lincolnshire’s coastline has to offer.

This public consultation is open for a twelve-week period and the EA invites everyone to get involved and share their views. Submissions can be made online, at one of the public drop-in events the EA is organising or through a postal consultation form which can be requested by calling 02084749136. Strategy documents will be made available in local libraries, council premises and other publicly accessibly venues across coastal communities between Saltfleet and Gibraltar Point.

Commenting on the new draft strategy, EA Flood and Coastal Risk manager Deborah Campbell said:

This draft strategy proposes a new approach to coastal flood risk management, which will help us continue to manage flood risk for thousands of homes, businesses and static caravans as well as agricultural land and a vibrant tourist industry in Lincolnshire’s coastal communities over the next 100 years.

Last year we consulted with the community on a shortlist of six options. We are very pleased to now present this strategy following rigorous environmental, technical and economical assessments as well as wide engagement with residents and other stakeholders.

Our new draft strategy is adaptable to a changing climate, and will enable us to continue to provide and maintain coastal sea defences with healthy beaches for the enjoyment, wellbeing and prosperity of the people visiting, working and living in Lincolnshire, We invite residents, business owners and any others with an interest in the strategy to submit their views during the consultation.

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