Spring 2018 update: Future shoreline management at Thorpeness
A plan for the future implementation of shoreline management policy (PIP) at Thorpeness is due for review at the Suffolk Coastal Forum prior to seeking views from the community. The plan develops fast and slow erosion scenarios, impacts on existing defences, remedial options, and re-alignment towards 2100.
It was envisaged that the plan would be a beneficial element of the Aldringham-cum-Thorpe Neighbourhood Plan. However, the March 2018 Parish Council Update indicates that social housing is the current priority.
TCFG continues to have an important role in active community engagement with the coastal plan. SCDC will be working with us to carry out a community communications exercise.
The defences reconstructed in 2010 have been effective through storms and surges for eight years. Planning constraints at the time, the demand for prompt action, and available funding resulted in the use of geotextile bags and strengthened wire cages. The solution was a compromise, recognising concern about damage from wave attack. Nevertheless, the Project Appraisal Report for Grant in Aid proposed an improvement which would be sufficient to maintain the defence over a period of some 50 years.
A ‘soft’ structure was favoured to allow for natural evolution under a shoreline policy of no active intervention. The Shoreline Management Plan was subsequently revised to a policy of managed realignment with current alignment maintained at existing defences until 2025 and reviewed thereafter.
The PIP considers when accelerated degradation of geobags in a shingle environment will result in significant loss of structural strength, the need for defence beyond the current structure, and when longer term loss of an active beach would halt longshore sediment transport.
Thorpeness pioneered a local authority partnership in 2010. Now there are highly active partnerships for many neighbouring sections of coast pushing ahead with erosion and flood management initiatives. “Somebody needs to do something about it” will no longer do.