Decision details

Cumbria Coastal Strategy

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


This report is to seek cabinets approval to adopt the Cumbrian Coastal Strategy for the SLDC area.




The Climate Emergency and Localism Portfolio Holder presented the Cumbria Coastal Strategy report. The Cumbria Coastal Strategy (CCS) was a plan to evaluate and managed the risks related to coastal flooding and erosion along the Cumbrian coastline on a long-term scale. The CCS had been initiated by the North West Regional Flood and Coastal Committee and was project managed by Cumbria County Council in its role as the Lead Local Flood Authority. A Project Review Group of local stakeholders had worked to help identify issues and opportunities and contribute valuable knowledge to the development of the CCS.


The CCS highlighted a number of key objectives as:-


·        to evaluate the risk of flooding and erosion along the Cumbrian coastline;

·        identify properties and infrastructure at risk;

·        identify and evaluate potential long-term solutions;

·        form a robust and objective evidence base; and

·        to provide a framework for future infrastructure and development.

The Climate Emergency and Localism Portfolio Holder added that the CCS was a great example of collaborative working and that the long term plan would be an incredibly important document for a long time.


Doug Coyle (Cumbria County Council) informed Members that all districts had worked together on the CCS and that there would be an officer at Cumbria County Council who would be supporting SLDC. He added that there had been some further studies and works looking at erosion in the Morecambe Bay area and the risk of coastal flooding at South Ulverston.


During discussion Members raised questions; requesting more detail on the connections and relationship with the Environment Agency and the North West Regional Flooding Coastal Committee, the potential for Members and the wider community to be involved in the study, the possibility of increased engagement with Members, the Town/ Parish Councils as there was a high amount of interest in this topic.


Further discussion raised comments on faulty tidal gates in Heversham and Milnthorpe; and the intent of the Environment Agency to hand over the Levens Bridge drainage pumps to land owners or a drainage board.


The Climate Emergency and Localism Portfolio Holder emphasised the importance of the CCS and added that regular briefings on the topic would be incredibly useful for all Members.


The Leader thanked Doug Coyle for his continued collaboration on a number of important projects and for responding to Members questions

The Leader asked the meeting if the motion was agreed. There was no dissent.






(1)   the Cumbrian Costal Strategy be adopted; and


(2)   Cabinet delegates authority to the Director of Customer and Commercial Services to work with partner orgnisations to deliver the specified outputs within the strategy in accordance with the approved budgets.

Reasons for Decision


This policy will help the Council Plan priorities of responding to climate change and

enhancing biodiversity. Specifically it will help assist in “ensuring that new development is sustainable, energy efficient and flood resilient” and “ensuring that business areas are protected from flooding”.


Alternation Options Considered and Rejected


Do nothing: This means walking away from the defences and undertaking no further work. Existing defences will fail over time and erosion and flood risk will increase.


Reactive approach, this means only intervening as and when defences fail or flood events highlight new areas of vulnerability. This would lead to significant increase in costs and lack of planning and identifying funding opportunities leading to delays in repair and replacement. It would leave communities more exposed and would be counter to best practice.

Report author: Gareth Candlin

Publication date: 05/02/2021

Date of decision: 03/02/2021

Decided at meeting: 03/02/2021 - Cabinet

Accompanying Documents: