Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs)

Shoreline Management Plans (SMP) are studies of naturally-defined coastal areas, developed by Coastal Groups working with local authorities and the Environment Agency. The groups identify the most sustainable approach to managing the flood and coastal erosion risks to the coastline in the short-term (0 to 20 years), medium term (20 to 50 years) and long term (50 to 100 years). 

The major policy options are:  

  • Hold the existing line of defence – by maintaining or changing the standard of protection. Used to cover situations where works or operations are undertaken to existing defences, in order to improve or maintain the standard of protection provided by the existing defence line.  
  • Advance the existing defence line – by constructing new defences seaward of the original defences. Option limited to those frontages where significant land reclamation is under consideration and there are no major environmental or engineering constraints.  
  • Managed realignment – by allowing the shoreline to move backwards or forwards, with management to control or limit its movement. Identifying a new line for coastal defence and, where appropriate, constructing new defences on a different line to the original defences.  
  • No active intervention – where there is to be no national investment in coastal defence assets or operations. However, monitoring and inspections of the shoreline will still be required

SMP 1 Scottish border to the River Tyne (Northumberland and North Tyneside). May 2009. Lead: Northumberland County Council

SMP 2 The Tyne to Flamborough Head (North East). Feb 2007. Lead: Scarborough Borough Council

SMP 3 Flamborough Head to Gibraltar Point. Dec 2010. Lead: East Riding Yorkshire Council

SMP 4 Gibraltar Point to Hunstanton (The Wash). Aug 2010. Lead: Environment Agency

SMP 5 Hunstanton to Kelling Hard (North Norfolk). Nov 2010. Lead: Environment Agency

SMP 6 Kelling Hard to Lowestoft (Kelling to Lowestoft). Aug 2012. Lead: North Norfolk District Council

SMP 7 Lowestoft to Felixtowe (Lowestoft Ness to Felixstowe Languard). Jan 2010 (plan updated: Apr 2015). Lead: Suffolk Coastal District Council

SMP 8 Essex and South Suffolk. Oct 2010. Lead: Environment Agency

SMP 9  The Medway Estuary and Swale. 2010. Lead: Environment Agency

SMP 10 Isle of Grain to South Foreland. 2010. Lead: Canterbury County Council

SMP 11 South Foreland to Beachy Head. Apr 2006. Lead: Shepway District Council

SMP 12 Beachy Head to Selsey Bill (South Downs). May 2006. Lead: Arun District Council

SMP 13 Selsey Bill to Hurst Spit (North Solent). Dec 2010. Lead: New Forest District Council

SMP 14 Isle of Wight. Dec 2010. Lead: Isle of Wight Council

SMP 15 Hurst Spit to Durlston Head (Poole & Christchurch Bays). 2011. Lead: Bournemouth Borough Council

SMP 16 Durlston Head to Rame Head. Jun 2011. Lead: Teignbridge District Council

SMP 17 Rame Head to Hartland Point (Cornwall & Isles of Scilly). Feb 2011. Lead: Caradon District Council

SMP 18 Hartland Point to Anchor Head (North Devon & Somerset). Jun 2010. Lead: North Devon District Council

SMP 22 Great Ormes Head to Scotland (North West England and North Wales). Jul 2010. Lead: Blackpool Borough Council