Diana Bowerman , News Editor
Friday, April 13, 2012
Environment Agency publish online coastal erosion maps for South West
RESIDENTS living in Sidmouth and the South West can, for the first time, see how erosion could affect their coastline in future, in a series of online maps.
Published on Tuesday by the Environment Agency, the maps provide information on how coastal erosion could affect where they live over the next 100 years.
Hosted by local authorities, they are posted on the EA website in the What’s In Your Backyard area: www.environment-agency.gov.uk.
The maps were published just a week after the latest cliff fall at Sidmouth’s Salcombe Cliffs, about 300 metres east of Pennington Point near Salcombe Mouth, when about 50 tonnes of material reached the water’s edge.
The maps also show how the coast is being managed and any defences that are in place.
Cliff Road residents in Sidmouth are among a few households at risk from coastal erosion.
Better information will help coastal communities make informed decisions about development and about how to adapt to a changing coastline.
“It is part of the EA’s role to help coastal communities make informed decisions about how to manage the coast and plan development,” said Richard Cresswell, SW director of the EA.
“This information will help councils and communities decide what action they need to take to adapt to the future.”
Erosion data contains three sets of predictions for 20,50 and 100 years, where the Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) policy is ‘no active intervention’, erosion data will be given.
Where the present SMP is implemented; such as hold the existing defence line or managed realignment, no coastal erosion is shown.
“Coastal erosion is a natural process and while we can’t defend every single section of cliff or beach, there are some practical steps that will help people plan ahead and adapt for the future,” said Mr Cresswell.
“Making this information available now will help communities and councils decide what action they need to take to adapt to coastal erosion.”
*Lyme Regis, east of Sidmouth, is to have a £2million cliff protection scheme to protect cliff top properties there.