main menu

About the SMP.

Approved SMP.

Action Plan.

Coastline Photos.

Stakeholder Meetings.

Public Consultation.


Shoreline Management Plan 1998.


Frequently asked questions.

Contact us.

Shoreline Management Plan 7

Shoreline Management Plan 7
(Previously Sub-Cell 3C)


A   B   C   E   F   G   H   I   L   M   N   O   P   R   S   T   W

Accretion. Coastal land increasing due to sediment being added to it.

Asset. This refers to something of value and may be environmental, economical, social, recreational and so on.

Beach recharge. This is the management practice of adding to the natural amount of sediment (such as sand) on a beach by using material from elsewhere. This is also known as beach replenishment, nourishment or feeding.

Beach recharge material. Natural sediment sourced from elsewhere used to replenish the beach.

Biodiversity. The richness and variety of wildlife (both plant and animal) and habitats on earth.

Biodiversity action plans. National action plans for an important habitat or species, approved by the Government, as part of the overall UK biodiversity action plan. (See the reference for the UK Biodiversity Group, 1995 and 1999.) Each action plan provides a description of the species or habitat and any threats to it. It sets targets for recovery and lists the actions needed to meet these targets.

Biodiversity objective. An aim for maintaining and improving biodiversity within a habitat.

Biodiversity target. This target was approved by the World Summit on Sustainable Development. "To achieve, by 2010, a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national level as a contribution to easing poverty and to benefit all life on earth."

Catchment flood management plan. A large-scale planning framework for managing flood risk to people and the developed and natural environment. See guidance published in July 2004 and Defra's website for further details.

Client steering group (CSG). A group formed to review the shoreline management plan, in this case comprising representatives of Waveney and Suffolk Coastal District Councils, the Environment Agency, Natural England, British Energy and the Port Authorities at Lowestoft and Harwich.

Coastal defence. A term used to cover both coastal protection against erosion and sea defence against flooding.

Coastal defence strategy plan. A detailed assessment of the coastal defence options for a policy unit, based on Defra's guidance: FCDPAG2.

Coastal habitat management plan (CHaMP). A management plan that identifies the flood and coastal defence work that is likely to be needed in a given area to conserve a European site (or group of sites), particularly where the current defence line may not be able to be maintained over the long term. A guidance note was produced in 2000 by English Nature and others (see the references list for details).

Coastal process units. These were defined by previous SMPs as a length of shoreline in which the physical processes are relatively independent from the processes in neighbouring coastal process units.

Coastal processes. The set of processes that operate along a coastline.

Coastal squeeze. The process by which coastal habitats and natural features are progressively lost or drowned, caught between coastal defences and rising sea levels.

Coastal zone management plan. Plans through which local authorities and others put planning objectives and policies into practice for an area of the coast, which deal with a range of issues such as managing, developing, recreating and conserving landscapes.

Consequence. An outcome or a result, such as an economic, social or environmental effect. It may be expressed as a quantity (such as monetary value), a category (high, medium or low) or a description (see Defra guidance: FCDPAG4).

Earth heritage. A term which describes landscapes identified as important for their fossils, minerals or other geological interest.

Economic assessment. An assessment which takes account of a wide range of costs and benefits, generally those that can be valued in money terms.

Environment. This term covers landscape and natural beauty, wildlife, habitats, and buildings, sites and objects of archaeological, architectural or historical interest.

Epoch. This refers to a period of time. In the SMP three epochs are defined - 0 to 20, 20 to 50 and 50 to 100 years from the present.

Erosion. The loss of land due to the effects of waves and, in the case of coastal cliffs, slope processes (such as high groundwater levels). This may include cliff instability, where coastal processes result in landslides or rock falls.

European site. Any site that has been officially designated as a site of international nature conservation importance, either as a special protection area (SPA), a special area of conservation (SAC) or a Ramsar (see the glossary) site. When considering planning, it is government policy to treat possible SPAs, candidate SACs and listed Ramsar sites as if they were already designated.

Future Coast. A study Defra commissioned to provide consistent information on coastal processes and possible future development of the coast, for the whole of England and Wales (

Geomorphology. The study of landforms on the earth's surface and processes of forming land.

Habitat Directive. EC Directive 92/43 on conserving natural habitats, wildlife and plant life.

Habitat Regulations. The Conservation (Natural Habitats & c.) Regulations 1994. This makes the Habitats Directive UK law.

Hazard. A situation with the potential to result in harm. A hazard does not necessarily lead to harm.

Heritage Coast. Heritage Coast is a national definition to cover the most unspoilt areas of undeveloped coastline around England and Wales.

Historic environment. Previous environmental conditions over a range of timescales.

Integrated coastal zone management (ICZM). A strategy to identify lasting levels of economic and social activity in our coastal areas while protecting the coastal environment. It brings together all those involved in developing, managing and using the coast within a framework that makes it easier to join their interests and responsibilities together.

Intertidal areas. The area between mean high water level and mean low water level in a coastal region.

Inundation. An overflow of water or an expanse of water submerging land.

Landscape character assessment. A way of identifying and explaining different things (such as woodlands, hedgerows, moors, mountains and farmland, building styles and historic artefacts) which give a place its unique character.

Management units. These were defined by previous SMPs as a length of shoreline with similar characteristics in terms of coastal processes and assets at risk that can be managed effectively. They have now been replaced by policy units.

Natural areas. This covers both the small number of natural areas and the much greater semi-natural areas of Britain, which are otherwise undeveloped but may have been influenced by people's actions over the years.

Nature conservation. - designations Below is a list of statutory and non-statutory nature conservation designations (areas identified as special sites for their wildlife and habitats).

  • Sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) designated for their wildlife and earth heritage (see the definition above) interest under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
  • National nature reserves designated under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
  • Areas of special protection, formerly bird sanctuaries, designated under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
  • Wetlands of international importance (Ramsar sites) designated under the 1971 Ramsar Convention.
  • Special areas of conservation (SACs) designated under the EC Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora).
  • Special protection areas (SPAs) designated under the EC Birds Directive (79/409/EEC Conservation of Wild Birds).
  • Local nature reserves (LNRs) designated by local authorities under section 21 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949.
  • Non-statutory nature conservation sites, such as regionally important geological or geomorphological sites (RIGSs) or sites of interest for nature conservation (SINCs) and land held for conservation purposes by other organisations (such as The National Trust).

Natural Processes. Those processes over which people have no significant control (such as wind and waves).

Net 'along shore' movement. The difference in the yearly total movement of sand and shingle in each direction along the shore.

Non-statutory conservation. Local-authority conservation plans aimed to protect a local environmental resource.

Operating authority. An organisation with legal powers to carry out flood defence or coast protection activities, usually the Environment Agency or maritime district council.

Planning policy guidance (PPG). Issued by the Government to set out its national land use policies for England on different areas of planning. These are gradually being replaced by planning policy statements (PPS).

Policy unit. A length of shoreline with similar characteristics in terms of coastal processes and assets at risk which can be managed efficiently.

Preferred policy. The policy that best meets the objectives set out in the SMP.

Ramsar. The Conservation of Wetlands, signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971 is a treaty between governments which provides the framework for national action and international co-operation for protecting wetlands and their resources.

Residual life. The time until a defence is no longer able to achieve minimum 'acceptable performance'.

Residual risk. The risk which remains after managing and reducing risks. It may include, for example, risk due to very severe storms or risks from unexpected hazards.

Risk assessment. Considering risks to people and the developed, historic and natural environment.

Risk management. Managing and monitoring risks (see also this article from the Environment Agency).

River basin management plans. The plans which must be developed to put the EU Water Framework Directive into force.

Schedule IV. Part of the Coast Protection Act 1949 which says waters excluded for purposes of definitions of 'sea' and 'seashore', that is, the upstream limit in estuaries and rivers.

Scheduled monuments. The main legislation concerning archaeology in the UK is the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. This Act, building on legislation dating back to 1882, provides for nationally important archaeological sites to be protected as scheduled ancient monuments.

Sediment cell. A length of coastline and its associated nearshore area within which the movement of coarse sediment (sand and shingle) is largely self-contained. Interruptions to the movement of sand and shingle within one cell should not affect beaches in a neighbouring sediment cell. A report was produced in 1994 defining sediment cells around the coast of England and Wales (author: HR Wallingford 1994).

Sediment sub-cell. A smaller part of a sediment cell within which the movement of coarse sediment (sand and shingle) is relatively self-contained.

Sediment supply. Adding sediment to a beach.

Shoreline management policy. A general term for any management option.

Shoreline response. The way the boundary between the land and the sea changes due to varying coastal processes and people's actions.

Spatial planning. Spatial planning refers to the methods used to balance demands for development with the need to protect the environment, and to achieve social and economic objectives.

Stakeholder. A person or organisation with an interest or concern in the SMP

Statutory conservation. A legal duty to protect and manage an area of national importance in terms of environmental value.

Strategic. This describes carrying out any process in a wide-ranging way, taking account of all associated effects, interests of other people and the widest possible options for solving a problem. In this SMP, the word 'strategic' does not mean any particular level in the planning process.

Strategic environmental assessment (SEA). A process of assessing the environmental opportunities and restrictions of a project, and identifying and managing its implications. An SEA is a legal requirement of certain plans and programmes, under the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004.

Sustainable development principles. Standards set by the UK Government, the Scottish Executive and the Welsh Assembly Government for a policy to be sustainable. See Defra's website at

Sustainable management. The process of developing (land, cities, business, communities and so on) that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Sustainable policies. Sustainable policies lead to coastal defence solutions that avoid committing future generations to inflexible and expensive options for defence. They will usually include considering relationships with other defences and likely developments and processes within a coastal cell or sub-cell.

Transparent and auditable. This means the process is open so that people can see what the process involves and understand why a decision has been made.

Water Framework Directive. This Directive is European Union legislation which covers all inland and coastal waters. The Directive sets a framework which should provide substantial benefits for managing water over the long term. Further details are on Defra's website at

null image