North Solent Shoreline Management Plan

People living on the coast between Hurst Spit in the New Forest and Selsey Bill in West Sussex will be consulted on the draft North Solent Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) when it is released for public comment on 1 February 2010.

The SMP outlines proposals to manage the coastal flooding and erosion risks to the North Solent shoreline for the next 20, 50 and 100 years.

Extending from Hurst Spit in the west to Selsey Bill in the east, the SMP breaks down the coastline into different sections and recommends one of four policies for each area:

Hold the line – maintain or upgrade the level of protection provided by existing defences

Advance the line – build new defences seaward of existing defences

Managed Realignment – allow retreat of the shoreline with management to control or limit movement

No active intervention – not to invest in providing or maintaining defences

Councillor Frank Pearson, Winchester City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment, said: “It is vital that we all work together to develop a plan for the long term future of the North Solent shoreline. The draft plan will be available to view from 1 February 2010 and residents are invited to comment before the policies are finalised."

The draft SMP, exhibition details, and feedback forms are available to view at

John O'Flynn, Environment Agency Area Flood and Coastal Risk Manager said: "This public consultation on the draft North Solent Shoreline Management Plan represents a major step forward in the management of the Solent coast. We have been closely involved in developing policies that recognise the natural changes occurring in the Solent and balance the needs of people and the environment."

The consultation will start on 1 February 2010 and run for three months.