Drop-in to find out more on your Coastal Strategy
BCP Council and New Forest District Council are inviting local people and coastal businesses to find out more about the development of a new coastal strategy. It will guide how the risks of coastal flooding and erosion may be sustainably managed for the next 100 years in Christchurch Bay, from Hengistbury Head Long Groyne to Hurst Spit, encompassing Christchurch Harbour.
The strategy is being produced jointly by both councils, working together with the Environment Agency. As well as informing how coastal communities may be protected and will also consider the effects of predicted climate change, including sea level rise and increased levels of storminess.
The second phase of public engagement events includes two face-to-face drop-in sessions, one online event hosted by Dorset Coast Forum and an online survey.
- Monday 6 June 2022, Christchurch Library Octagon Space 10am-6pm
- Thursday 9 June 2022, Milford-on-Sea Village Community Centre, 10am-4pm
- Tues 14 June 2022, public on-line event (hosted by Dorset Coast Forum) 7:00pm-8:15pm. Free tickets available at Eventbrite
- Monday 23 May to Sunday 26 June 2022, Have your Say on-line survey: gov.uk/christchurchstrategyphase2
Councillor Mark Anderson, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Cleansing & Waste at BCP Council, said: “In this second phase of the strategy’s development, we are highlighting the scenario to explain: What happens if we don’t defend our coast? Our work to date has helped us establish this baseline which represents a hypothetical situation where we abandon our existing defences and don’t prepare for climate change. The process is not designed to alarm people, it enables us to evidence and justify what options there are to ‘do something’ to address coastal flooding and erosion risk. We are inviting people to come and talk with us about these findings at our drop-in events, or complete our on-line survey, to tell us if there is anything else we should consider at this stage.”
Councillor Steve Davies, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Coastal Services at New Forest District Council, added: “Once we have listened to feedback we will work with stakeholders again to identify a long list of options to ‘do something’ and we’ll assess them to understand where, when and broadly what type of works are needed and what this may cost. Local authorities do not have a statutory duty to undertake coast protection work, but we can use permissive powers to protect our coastline and work with communities to help them adapt to future coastal change. Crucially, the final adopted Strategy will enable us to bid for government funding to deliver viable and realistic coast protection schemes. Although there is no guarantee we’d receive 100% funding for these, it’ll help us to understand the required level of partnership funding that may be required to deliver a scheme.”
Towards the end of this year, further feedback will be invited on all the potential options which can realistically be delivered. This will help inform the development of a shortlist of options which will be rigorously evaluated. Our draft preferred short-listed options will then be consulted on next year. It is anticipated the final strategy will be adopted in early 2024.
The image below shows the Christchurch Bay and Harbour Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy area. The markers in red show the strategy extents from Hengistbury Head Long Groyne to Hurst Spit Rock revetment, encompassing Christchurch Harbour up to the tidal extents of Tuckton Bridge on the River Stour and Knapp Mill on the River Avon.
In Autumn 2020, BCP Council successfully secured £450,000 of government Flood Defence Grant in Aid (FDGiA) to produce the strategy on behalf of the partners, working with specialist consultant AECOM. It is anticipated that the final strategy will be adopted by Spring/Summer 2023.