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Shoreline Management Plan

Durlston Head to Rame Head SMP16

General actions for this SMP

This shows the actions generic to the whole of this SMP. For further actions relating to specific locations, select an area on the map above or use the postcode/location search and click on the Action Plan tab.

All actions are subject to funding and approval, often by other parties than the Lead Organisation shown.

Reference NumberAction DescriptionAction Lead OrganisationAction Progress StatusPriority
16.003Investigate and identify contaminated land areas to inform future flood and coastal erosion risk management decisions, as this data was unavailable to inform the assessments made during development of this SMP.Environment Agency / Local AuthoritiesNot yet startedMedium
16.004.02Use Regional Coastal Monitoring Programme data and local studies to identify the character and timing of key triggers for intervention in areas of the SMP where a transition from one management approach to another will or may be needed. Review and (if necessary) extend monitoring programme to correspond with and inform trigger level assessments.Channel / Plymouth Coastal ObservatoriesNot yet startedMedium
16.014Initiate a scoping exercise on how to approach development of adaptation pathways and definition of trigger levels (and their visual representation) for decision points. Select a few pilot sites to trial, then develop localised adaptation strategies for locations within the SMP where a transition from one management approach to another will or may be needed, reflecting locally agreed options and triggers for intervention.Pending agreementNot yet startedMedium
16.015Investigate the possibility of appointing an ‘SMP coordinator’ to facilitate collaboration between the many different Local Authorities that this SMP covers, and the different functions (e.g. Planning, Economy, Highways) within them, raising awareness and devolving delivery of actions within and across authorities appropriately.Pending agreementNot yet startedMedium
16.022Establish on-going support and funding for the South West Coastal Group, and the new Coastal Change Management Area (Coastal Catchment Management Authority) sub-group. The broader Coastal Group has a major role in supporting and steering on-going monitoring, overseeing Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) progress and disseminating approaches.Pending agreementNot yet startedMedium
16.022.01Engage with planners in all local authorities and county councils to ensure that they are fully aware of the management approaches in the SMP. This should also involve engagement with relevant organisations (e.g. highways, utilities) to ensure that the plans of those organisations also fully consider the SMP.Pending agreementNot yet startedMedium
16.022.03Ensure that local and regional development planning documents take account of SMP policies and flood erosion risks, including the designation of Coastal Change Management Areas where potential, predicted or residual risk from flood, landslip or erosion requires consideration in development consents and future planning.Pending agreementNot yet startedMedium
16.023Work with relevant Marine Management Organization staff to identify within Marine Plans any key potential risks to delivery of SMP management intent, and identify potential responses. Produce brief note on this review and update SMP action plan as appropriate with any actions that review identifies.Pending agreementNot yet startedMedium
16.025Update the Strategic Environmental Assessment for the SMP to ensure it reflects any changes made to the Plan’s management intent or impacts of existing management intent on Highly Protected Marine Areas, Marine Conservation Zones and SSSIs.Pending agreementNot yet startedMedium
16.026Carry out a strategic-level review of the Habitats Regulations Assessment of the SMP to ensure it reflects any changes made to the Plan’s management intent or impacts of existing management intent on newly designated protected European Sites.Pending agreementNot yet startedMedium
16.027Update projections of habitat change using evidence from the Regional Coastal Monitoring Programme and local studies to inform the Habitat Compensation and Restoration Programme. Identify potential opportunities for statutory habitat compensation and take forward through the regional Habitat Compensation and Restoration Programme, considering and evaluating the potential benefits of in-situ restoration.Environment AgencyNot yet startedMedium
16.028Carry out a strategic-level review to ensure the SMP reflects the opportunities to meet objectives set out in the River Basin Management Plan coving the SMP’s Transitional and Coastal Waters. Identify potential areas of habitat creation and restoration that could be delivered through Local Nature Recovery Strategies, for Biodiversity Net Gain from development planning, and other initiatives, and align these with the Habitat Compensation and Restoration Programme.Environment AgencyNot yet startedMedium
16.002Using the Practical Approaches to Transfer and Decommissioning Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Managment Assets guidance published by the Defra/EA R&D programme, conduct an investigation into the health and safety implications of No Active Intervention approach along parts of the SMP where defences are no longer maintained, to inform future management decisions about where removal of defences may be necessary.Environment Agency / Local AuthoritiesNot yet startedMedium-low
16.005Develop and implement routine cliff inspection and monitoring to provide improved information about cliff behaviour and recession. This could be included in the remit of the Strategic Regional Coastal Monitoring Programmes or carried out separately and should include, but not necessarily be limited to, Ringstead, Furzy Cliff, the north-west shore of Portland Harbour, Burton Cliff (Freshwater / Burton Bradstock), East Cliff (West Bay), Charmouth, Lyme Regis and Seaton to Seaton Hole. Consider establishing an expert review group to advise on recession risk in areas of goelogically complex cliff. Use this information to inform future updates of the National Coastal Erosion Risk Map and in stakeholder liaison on coastal management.Pending agreementProgressingMedium-low
16.006Support continued use and development of the Regional Coastal Monitoring Programmes Asset Registers, to ensure that regular defence inspection, including assessment of condition and photographic recording, is undertaken and that defence crest levels are confirmed by providing evidence on the use and value of this data to the business case for the next round of programme funding before the current phase completes in 2027. This will complement the ongoing day-to-day asset inspection regimes undertaken by the Environment Agency using their AIMS tool and other Local Authority asset management systems such as the Dorset-BCP Dorset Coastal Asset Management System.Environment AgencyProgressingMedium-low
16.007Ensure SMP policies and flood and erosion risks are accounted for in the next revisions of land use plans in order to help manage residual risks from flooding and erosion, and to inform future planning decisions.Environment Agency / Local AuthoritiesProgressingMedium-low
16.008Undertake an annual review and update of the SMP 16 Action Plan to ensure Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) policies are put into practice and recording a full list of studies and activities undertaken that refelct that implementation. It should also allow for considering impacts upon the plan of changes in management approach or new guidance, or the emergence of new data.Teignbridge District CouncilNot yet startedMedium-low
16.013.01Establish and maintain an SMP Group within the South West Coastal Group to monitor, report and co-ordinate implementation of SMP actions and management approaches, review and manage changes to the SMP, and promote the SMP in investment programmes and local development planning. Within this Group, evaluate, prioritise and resource local actions and any changes to the SMP and / or investment programme arising from the SMP Refresh project, and start to progress high priority tasks where resources permit.Pending agreementNot yet startedMedium-low
16.016Develop a Strategic Communications and Engagement Plan to ensure the SMP has profile with those making investment and planning decisions, and is used and understood by those living or working at the coast (or seeking to do so) within the SMP area. Establish a communications and engagement approach to ensure that elected members of local councils are aware of and understand the management approaches agreed in the SMP, and the opportunities and implications for their local area.Pending agreementNot yet startedMedium-low
16.017Review and identify vulnerable communities or communities where adaptation is required, establishing the resource and information needed for engagement. This might develop upon the Environment Agency’s Vulnerable Coastal Communities initiative.Pending agreementNot yet startedMedium-low
16.018Engage with other organisations (e.g. Highways, Heritage and Utilities) and general public to inform them of the potential future risks of flood and coastal erosion as a result of SMP management approaches and work with them to develop plans for adapting to the changing risk as part of action 16.014.Pending agreementNot yet startedMedium-low
16.021Review outcomes of Strategies and Studies in the context of broader shoreline management approach, use them to decide upon management approaches and update the SMP as appropriate using the change process in the Supplementary Guidance.Pending agreementNot yet startedMedium-low
16.001Conduct a study to appraise the types of beaches and amenity resource provided, the amounts of each type of beach and amenity resource currently available, extents and values of beaches in the South Devon and Dorset (SDAD) area (and possibly wider South-West) and evaluate the risks to each beach from climate change, such that there is a consistent and robust evidence base against which such statements can be made in future SMP revisions or as a common reference in developing strategies/Beach Management Plans.Pending agreementNot yet startedLow
16.003.01Implement a comprehensive programme of coastal landfill site monitoring to allow ongoing assessment of risk posed to these sites from coastal erosion and flooding. This should also include monitoring of contaminants. Sites that should be included in any such monitoring include east of Spittles at Lyme Regis and the former landfill site at Lodmoor.Environment Agency / Local AuthoritiesNot yet startedLow
16.004Support continuation of the South West and South East Strategic Regional Coastal Monitoring Programmes to improve the amount and quality of information on which to base future management decisions by providing evidence as the to use and value of this data to the business case for the next round of programme funding before the current phase completes in 2027.Channel / Plymouth Coastal ObservatoriesProgressingLow
16.004.01Undertake an annual review of the South West and South East Regional Coastal Monitoring Programmes to make any necessary adjustments to reflect changing needs and priorities, informed by more recent studies.Channel / Plymouth Coastal ObservatoriesNot yet startedLow
16.004.03Review and identify strategic studies or monitoring particularly in relation to complex cliff behaviour, feeding back into the above monitoring and analysis.Channel / Plymouth Coastal ObservatoriesNot yet startedLow

Download table as spreadsheet (CSV)

Download SMP documents

The information on this website represents the current SMP management approaches adopted by the local authorities within its area, and current actions needed to deliver them. These management approaches have been approved by the Environment Agency under its Strategic Overview for coastal flood and erosion risk management and are considered to be local policy.

The documents below provide the full SMP adopted locally and approved by the Environment Agency at the time of publication. Some of the information has changed in response to new government policy, new evidence or new work identified.

Data on this page

Main report


Supporting Documents

About this SMP

This Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) covers the length of the Dorset coast west of Poole Bay, all South Devon coast and the south-easternmost part of the Cornwall coast between Durlston Head to Rame Head.

You can read the full SMP document by selecting the Download tab. This SMP was completed in 2011 and received formal adoption and sign off from relevant local authorities and the Environment Agency.

Managing shorelines in this area

The SMP for this area presents agreed approaches to managing the risk of coastal flooding and erosion at the shoreline and in estuaries over the short, medium, and long term, considering the implications of climate change.

In some locations, the approaches set out in the SMP change over time, for example from holding the current shoreline position with defences to realigning it or allowing the coast to change more naturally.

The SMP shows where this may affect people, property or the natural environment and the action plan includes measures to manage the local effects of coastal change. Local development planning can then be used to help avoid or address these effects, for example by identifying where new or relocated buildings can be built and defining any conditions to promote safety or sustainability. More localised Coastal Strategies may also be developed to identify how the approach in the SMP should be funded and implemented in more detail. You can find these under the Related Links tab for the SMP.

The objectives of the SMP can be found in the national SMP Guidance document (Volume 1, section 2.1). In summary, they are to identify preferred approaches for:

  • managing flood and erosion risk to existing properties and other assets
  • identifying approaches that are economically, technically and environmentally sustainable
  • protecting and enhancing the natural features and character of the coast through these approaches where possible

Managing inland flood risk

To find out more about managing future flood risk inland, see the Flood Risk Management Plan.

Developing this SMP

The group that developed and agreed this SMP included:

  • South Devon and Dorset Coastal Advisory Group
  • Devon County Council
  • Dorset Council (previously Dorset County Council, Purbeck District Council, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council & West Dorset District Council)
  • East Devon District Council
  • Exeter City Council
  • Teignbridge District Council
  • Torbay Council
  • South Hams District Council
  • Plymouth City Council
  • Cornwall Council (previously Caradon District Council)
  • English Heritage
  • Environment Agency
  • National Trust
  • Natural England
  • Dorset AONB
  • East Devon AONB
  • Jurassic Coast UNESCO World Heritage Site Management

The group consulted the public and engaged with a range of stakeholders interested in the area’s coastal management while developing this SMP. The SMP was approved by the Environment Agency and formally adopted by each local authority. You can find further details of how the group developed the SMP in Appendix A of the document. This can be found by selecting the Download tab.