Have your say on draft Christchurch Bay and Harbour Strategy, which identifies leading options to manage coastal flood and erosion risk

Posted 6th June, 2023
Christchurch Bay & Harbour © BCP Council

BCP Council and New Forest District Council are encouraging people to have their say on the proposed leading options to manage coastal flood and erosion risk, from Hengistbury Head Long Groyne to Hurst Spit, encompassing Christchurch Harbour.

The Christchurch Bay and Harbour Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) Strategy is being produced jointly by both councils, and in partnership with the Environment Agency and AECOM (technical consultants). Climate change is putting significantly more properties, infrastructure and open spaces at risk from coastal flooding and erosion. Baseline assessment calculations have revealed that if we ‘do nothing’ over the next 100 years, the coastal frontage will suffer around £1 billion in damages, which includes erosion risk to approximately 1,600 properties and coastal flood risk to over 2,200 properties, including both homes and non-residential buildings.

Following feedback from the fourth phase of engagement in December 2022, each of the short listed options were appraised to assess their economic, technical, environmental and social viability. The leading options were then identified for each of the 18 option development units and these proposals are the focus of this consultation.

Councillor Andy Hadley, Portfolio Holder for Climate Response, Environment and Energy at BCP Council, said: 

“The draft Christchurch Bay and Harbour Strategy identifies when, where and how much these coastal protection options would cost to deliver. The value of damages is not designed to alarm people but is part of the process which enables us to evidence and justify what measures we should consider amongst the options to minimise the risks. It is comparable to and complements the Poole Bay, Poole Harbour and Wareham Strategy which was adopted using a similar process in 2014. By planning ahead and working together, we can sustainably manage our coastline for future generations to enjoy.”

Councillor Geoffrey Blunden, portfolio holder for environment and sustainability at New Forest District Council, added:

“Importantly, the strategy has also considered the effects of predicted climate change including sea level rise and opportunities to enhance the environment, while ensuring the options proposed for one area would have no detriment to another. This is vital as we need to manage the entire coastal frontage as one cohesive strategy. In the New Forest, we are also ensuring this work links with another developing strategy for Hurst Spit to Lymington, which will be shown and discussed at our face-to-face event at Milford on Sea Community Centre on 13 June.”

It is anticipated the final strategy will be adopted in Spring 2024. It will enable BCP Council and New Forest District Council to bid for government funding for coast protection schemes. It will also help identify the level of partnership funding contributions that may be required to deliver schemes.

The consultation starts on 5 June 2023 and will be open for 12 weeks.

Complete our survey by visiting haveyoursay.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/christchurchstrategyphase5. Paper copies of the survey and consultation document are also available at Christchurch, Highcliffe, Lymington, New Milton and Tuckton Libraries.

Residents and businesses were also invited to come and meet the strategy team at one of our face-to-face and online events.

  1. Tues 13 June 2023, Milford-on-Sea Village Community Centre, 10am-4pm
  2. Mon 19 June 2023, Christchurch Library Octagon Space 10am-5.30pm
  3. Tues 27 June 2023, public on-line event, 7:00pm-8:15pm. Hosted by Dorset Coast Forum

Consultation closes 27 August 2023.

Engagement timeline & updates at BCP Council website: