Only one in three coastal planning authorities in England has up-to-date planning policy in place to deal with the rising sea levels and more frequent storms occurring as a result of our changing climate, says the National Trust.
It says that 12,500 new homes and business premises have been constructed in coastal areas at risk of significant erosion or flooding over the last decade, despite national guidance advising against development.
The National Trust has published a report, Shifting shores – playing our part at the coast, recommending a shift in approach to adaptation and away from maintaining engineered defences, where appropriate, while being sensitive to community needs. It has pledged to have plans in place for 80 of its coastal areas by 2020.
“We know how difficult taking the adaptive approach can be, despite all the good policy guidance that now exists,” said Phil Dyke, National Trust coastal marine adviser. “But action is now needed by all coastal stakeholders to manage the threats to our beautiful and diverse coast to prevent us drifting into a future where our coast is a rim of concrete.”