The challenges of coastal change

Local authorities around the country are grappling with a range of issues caused by coastal erosion.

Here in East Suffolk, we are feeling the pain acutely, with one of the fastest-eroding coastlines in northern Europe.  

Coastal erosion is unpredictable and likely to get worse with climate change.

However, where communities on the coast are at risk, there is limited funding available to help them adapt or relocate.

Coastal Partnership East manages our response on behalf of councils across Norfolk and Suffolk, and communities are essentially reacting to coastal change and challenges as they happen. 

They face uncertainty, worry and distress because of the difficulty with planning ahead or how to solve issues in a positive and controlled way. 

Funding for protection is rarely available on our coast, as there are not enough properties at risk to trigger government funding – so, in most of our communities we are having to look at other adaptive options. 

For some, this will be too late and the council will need to support these people to demolish their homes. 

Councils will then face pressures on dwindling resources to rehome those with housing and social care needs. However, we will continue to work hard for our communities and seek out solutions. 

Our Resilient Coasts programme is an £8.4 million, five-year project that aims to support coastal communities to become more resilient. 

It will support those communities at the highest risk of erosion, enabling discussions and planning for adaptation to climate and coastal change. 

Meanwhile, we will continue to work on options for affected businesses so they can remain economically viable, and continue to lobby at national level for more integrated business and economic approaches for those at risk.

We know we cannot solve everything and this is why we will continue to lobby for greater government support. However, we hope that the creation of bespoke adaptation and resilience plans, developed with our communities, will enable them to have affordable, achievable, and resilient options for the future of our rapidly changing coast.

Visit to find out more about Coastal Partnership East

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