TAG Coastal Defence Briefing Sheet February 2004 20/12/2005
COASTAL DEFENCE BRIEFING SHEET
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The following major topic areas are covered
COASTAL DEFENCE – LEGISLATION, RESPONSIBILITIES AND POLICY
Coast protection –
Sea Defence – (MAFF/WO 1993).
Policy – The aim of the Government’s policy is: –
‘To reduce the risks to people and the developed and natural environment from flooding and coastal erosion by encouraging the provision of technically, environmentally and economically sound and sustainable defence measures.’
COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT
A definition of the coastal zone was developed at the European Workshop on Coastal Zone Management (CZM) and was presented to the European Commission’s European Coastal Conservation Conference in 1991 viz
‘The coastal zone is a dynamic human and natural system which extends to seawards and landwards of the coastline. Its limits are determined by the geographical extent of the natural processes and human activities that take place there. CZM should extend as far inland and seaward as is required by the management objectives.’
The European Parliament has more recently adopted a resolution to approve draft recommendations by the European Commission on Integrated Coastal Zone Management as a “vital first step” in protecting Europe’s coastal area from environmental degradation. It set 31st December 2002 as the deadline for a stocktaking exercise by Member States on planning and management of their coastal zones. This recommendation is one component of the European Strategy for ICZM announced in Commission Communication COM/2000/547; it is specifically intended to promote the development of ICZM strategies at the national level. It encourages Member States to undertake a national inventory of legislation, institutions and actors involved in the planning and management of the coastal zone, and to develop a national strategy to promote ICZM.
In 1995 MAFF published ‘Shoreline Management Plans – A guide for coastal defence authorities’ (MAFF et al 1995). This guide has been widely used by the Coastal Groups in preparing their first generation Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs). These SMPs had six main features:
· to define, in general terms the risks to people and the developed, historic and natural environment within the SMP area
· to identify the preferred policies for managing these risks over the next 50 years
· to identify the consequences of implementing the preferred policies
· to set out procedures for monitoring the effectiveness of the SMP policies
· to ensure that future land use and development of the shoreline takes due account of the risks and the preferred SMP policies
· to comply with international and national nature conservation legislation and biodiversity obligations
Coastal Groups have evolved during the last thirteen years or so and now cover the entire English and Welsh coastline. In the main, they were formed by Engineers from Maritime Councils and operate on a voluntary basis within natural cells providing a forum for discussion and co-operation. Each group has its own blend of practitioners as are suited to its particular need. They may include conservation groups, the EA, Network Rail, Ports, Planning Departments and others. Indeed, private frontagers are active in some of the broader based groups.
Given that the effectiveness of any management process is determined by the adequacy of the information upon which decisions are based, it is clearly important that the most essential variables, as shown below, should be updated on a routine basis. This means that whilst information on coastal characteristics will require periodic review, the more dynamic components will need to be collected as part of a structured monitoring programme.
OPERATIONS – FLOOD WARNING SYSTEMS
TECHNIQUES – (a) PHYSICAL MODELLING
TECHNIQUES – (b) MATHEMATICAL MODELLING
DESIGN – (a) SEAWALLS
DESIGN – (b) CROSS-SHORE STRUCTURES
DESIGN – (c) – BEACH NOURISHMENT
ENVIRONMENTAL PROCEDURES & ASSESSMENT
Schemes, which meet the stipulated economic, technical and environmental criteria, are eligible for grant aid. In appropriate circumstances, this is greatly assisted if schemes have been identified in a coastal strategy plan. Formal approval of coastal defence schemes by the DEFRA / WAG is necessary before grant is paid. Application for grant aid can be quite complex and recent proposals by the Technical Advisors Group (TAG) to simplify these procedures are currently being considered by Central Government.
Project Appraisal Guidelines, originally issued in 1993 (MAFF 1993), set out the techniques which authorities were expected to follow in appraising schemes, and emphasised the importance of maximising value for money in benefit-cost terms. The quantification of all costs and benefits was encouraged including environmental impacts where practicable. Techniques for assessing the benefits of flood and coastal defence, including the possible quantification of recreational benefits are further explained in “Multi-coloured Manual” published by Middlesex University ((Penning-Rowsell et al 2003). This manual supersedes other earlier manuals on Flood Alleviation Benefits (Penning-Rowsell and Chatterton 1977, Parker et al 1987),
The original Guidelines have now been reviewed and 5 new Project Appraisal Guidelines (PAG 1 – 5) have been issued in by October 2001. The series will eventually contain 6 volumes as follows: –
FCDPAG 1 Overview (MAFF 2001a)
FCDPAG 2 Strategic Planning and Appraisal (MAFF 2001b)
FCDPAG 3* Economic Appraisal (MAFF 1999b)
FCDPAG 4 Approaches to Risk (MAFF 2000c)
FCDPAG 5 Environmental Appraisal (MAFF 2000b)
FCDPAG 6 Post Project Evaluation
* A Supplemetary Note to FCDPAG3 was issued in March 2003, and is on the DEFRA website.
These volumes are designed to provide an integral suite of guidance on all aspects of project appraisal. FCDPAG 3 also identifies where there is a need to use incremental benefit-cost analysis.
HIGH LEVEL TARGETS
In October 1998, in response to the Agriculture Committee report, both MAFF and the WAG committed themselves to preparing a series of ‘High Level Targets (MAFF 1999a, NAW 2001)’ for both Maritime Councils and the EA, aimed at delivering their flood and coastal defence aims and objectives in its National Strategy (MAFF/WO 1993) (see earlier).
FLOOD DEFENCE PROTOCOLS
The Local Government Association (LGA) and Environment Agency have produced a protocol that aims to set out the relationship that should exist between the local authority and the Agency in the discharge of shared duties and responsibilities. The latest protocol on flood defence replaces and updates the original version circulated in August 1998. It takes account of the additional requirements arising out of the Easter Flood Action Plan, the Government’s objectives for flood defence and the Agency’s supervision by consent of the local authority role in flood defence.
This paper has been prepared by Martin Wright Associates in conjunction with TAG Water Resources Committee and is based on the original ACTO / AME Coastal Defence Briefing Sheet produced in 1993.