Lancaster City Council has begun a consultation on management plans for the local coastline, working with North West England and North Wales Coastal Group, the Environment Agency and other organisations.
The aim is to plan the best way to manage our changing coast, now and for future generations and the Council is asking for local views to make sure that the plans are realistic, suitable and achievable through several channels, including a new web site, www.mycoastline.org. The closing date for consultation responses is 14th February 2010.
Our coastline is changing, as waves, tides, wind and storms move sand and sediment around the coast and estuaries, changing the way that the shoreline looks, works and protects our homes and towns. In addition, climate change will affect these processes and the Council argues it is important that they take action now to prepare for the future.
To help to deal with the consequences of a changing coast a long term Shoreline Management Plan to set out how our shoreline is managed is needed, to identify how to manage our coast over a long period of time. SMPs analyse the social, environmental and economic effects of different management regimes and the consequences on the protection of communities and land against coastal erosion and flooding.
“We are not able to protect all coastal homes, businesses, land and wildlife habitats from coastal erosion and flooding," explains Coun Jon Barry, Cabinet member with responsibility for the environment at Lancaster City Council, "but with help, we will know where these risks are greatest and set out effective ways to manage these in a sustainable way.”
SMPs provide evidence and guidance for Local Authorities, the Environment Agency and other organisations enabling them to plan the management of their coastline and incorporate these matters within the planning regime.
Pete Fox, Environment Agency North West Flood and Coastal Risk Manager added: “It’s really important that local communities work with the Environment Agency, Local Authorities and others to produce the Shoreline Management Plans and Coastal Erosion Risk Maps. This will ensure we all get the best possible outcomes for people and the environment in the area and beyond.”
• To have your say on the plans and find out more visit www.mycoastline.org, and you can send your feedback by email via that web site or in writing to North West England and North Wales Coastal Group, c/o Mrs F Crayston, Blackpool Borough Council, Westgate House, Squires Lane, Blackpool FY4 2TS.
• Copies of the draft plan are also available for inspection at Morecambe and Lancaster Town Halls.