A Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) provides a large-scale assessment of the risks associated with coastal evolution and presents a policy framework to address these risks to people and the developed, historic and natural environment in a sustainable manner. In doing so, an SMP is a high-level document that forms an important part of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) strategy for flood and coastal defence (Defra, 2006).

This CD contains the North Devon & Somerset Shoreline Management Plan. The format of this Shoreline Management Plan is given below, and all of the documents referred to can be viewed by selecting the relevant item from the menu to the left.

These documents are in PDF format, and as such you will need Adobe Acrobat to view them.

This can be downloaded by clicking here


The recommended plan and policies presented in this SMP are the result of numerous studies, assessments and discussions performed over a period of time. To provide clarity for different readerships, the documentation is provided in a number of parts. At the broadest level, these are divided into two sections:

The Shoreline Management Plan

This document provides the management plan for the next 100 years and the policies required for it to be implemented. This is intended for general readership and is the main tool for communicating intentions. Whilst the justification for decisions is presented, it does not provide all of the information behind the recommendations, this being contained in the supporting documents.

The plan is presented in six parts:

Section 1 gives details on the principles, aims, structure and background to its development.

Section 2 provides details of how the SMP meets the requirements of a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).

Section 3 presents the basis for development of the Plan, describing the concepts of sustainable policy and providing an understanding of the constraints and limitations on adopting certain policies.

Section 4 presents the preferred Plan at high level for the SMP as a whole, discussing the rationale, implications, and requirements to manage change. The coastline is considered in seventeen broad sections.

Section 5 provides a series of 23 policy statements covering each of the 91 individual policy units that detail the location-specific policies proposed to implement the preferred Plan and the local implications of these policies.

Section 6 provides an action plan which outlines the steps required to ensure SMP recommendations are taken forward in the short term, both in planning and flood and coastal risk management, and that necessary actions to facilitate the implementation of the longer-term policies are initiated as appropriate.

Although it is expected that many readers will focus upon the local details in Section 5, it is important to recognise that the SMP is produced for the coast as a whole, considering issues beyond specific locations. Therefore, these statements must be read in the context of the wider-scale issues and policy implications, as reported in Sections 3, 4 and the Appendices to the Plan.

SMP Supporting Appendices

The accompanying documents provide all of the information required to support the plan. The appendices demonstrate the steps to the decision-making process and illustrate that the rationale behind the policies chosen is both transparent and auditable. These are supported by a Glossary of Terms.

This information is largely of a technical nature and is provided in twelve Appendices:

A. SMP Development: This reports the history of development of the SMP, describing more fully the plan and policy decision-making process. The remaining documents effectively provide appendices to this report.

B. Stakeholder Engagement: All communications from the stakeholder process are provided here, together with information arising from the consultation process.

C. Baseline Process Understanding: Includes baseline process report, defence assessment, No Active Intervention (NAI) and With Present Management (WPM) assessments and summarises data used in assessments.

D. SEA Environmental Baseline Report (Theme Review): This report identifies and evaluates the environmental features (human, natural, historical and landscape) in terms of their significance and how these need to be accommodated by the SMP.

E. Issues & Objectives Evaluation: Provides information on the issues and objectives identified as part of the Plan development, including appraisal of their importance.

F. Initial Policy Appraisal and Scenario Development: Presents the consideration of generic policy options for each frontage, identifying possibly acceptable policies, and their combination into ‘scenarios’ for testing, together with the process assessment and objective appraisal for each scenario.

G. Preferred Policy Scenario Testing: This appendix presents the policy assessment of the Preferred Plan (as presented in the Shoreline Management Plan document – Section 5) and includes an overview of the objective appraisal which highlights technical, environmental and economical outcomes of the Preferred Plan against the alternatives.

H. Economic Appraisal and Sensitivity Testing: Presents the economic analysis undertaken in support of the Preferred Plan.

I. Strategic Environmental Assessment Report: This appendix pulls together the elements of the SMP that address the specific SEA requirements.

J. Appropriate Assessment: This appendix presents the Appropriate Assessment of the impacts of SMP polcies upon European designated sites in accordance with the Habitats Regulations.

K. Water Framework Directive Assessment: This appendix presents the assessment of theimpacts of the SMP policies upon nearshore coastal and estuarine waters in accordance with the European Union Directive 2000/60/EC (the Water Framework Directive).

L. Metadata and Bibliographic Databases: All supporting information used to develop the SMP is referenced for future examination and retrieval.

M. Action Plan Summary Tables: The Action Plan details presented in Section 6 of the main SMP are presented here in a format to provide ease of future monitroing and reporting of action plan progress at a national level.