Thorpeness Shoreline Management Plan

Thorpeness Coastal Futures Group

The Thorpeness Coastal Futures Group is an independent body established to seek, promote and communicate a suitable shoreline management strategy for the village of Thorpeness. It draws its members from the local community, and from the wider public, academic, professional, governmental and non-governmental organisations who want to see a successful and appropriate future for the village.

For more information see their website.

The report on the further studies on the coastal defences at Thorpeness being carried out by Mott McDonald on behalf of SCDC was expected by the end of 2016. See Suffolk Coastal District Council's website for the latest news on the coastal protection work.

Older news following the Public Consultation at the end of 2013 and subsequent progress, Bill Parker provided this update in April 2014:


I would like to bring you up to date with the latest information on the management of the coast at Thorpeness. 

Since the tidal surge last December (2013) we have been fortunate to have had persistent southerly winds that has helped rebuild the beach naturally and it is now quite healthy. However this does not mean that we are not undertaking more works along this stretch of coast or making progress on plans for its longer term management. 

This week Mackleys (our contractors) will be working to make safe the damaged gabions (rock filled wire baskets) by securing loose mesh layers, removing loose/projecting ends and reducing the significant voids in intact mesh cages. 

Next week they will move shingle to cover the white geo-bag frontage (phase 1) as a priority and also the brown (phase 2) bags to help protect them. 

The change in Shoreline Management Plan policy in summary from ‘No Active Intervention’ to ‘Managed Re-alignment’ was endorsed at the Anglian Regional Flood and Coast Committee last Friday so this lengthy process is now almost complete. We now just need a final signature from the Environment Agency which is not expected to take long.

For the longer term we are looking to explore the viability of further coast defence works but there is a significant amount to do and this is scheduled for later in the year. A bid has been submitted to the Environment Agency for a contribution to funding further works in 2015/16 however this at the very early stages of this process and with the high demand for funding across the country this bid may be unsuccessful. 

We are in regular liaison with Mike Chandler (Aldringham-cum-Thorpe PC) about the way forward and we will update you as further as soon as we can. 

In the meantime I trust you are enjoying the fine weather at the moment. 



Bill Parker 
Coastal Management 
Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils

c/o Suffolk Coastal District Council 
Melton Hill 
Suffolk IP121AU 
(t)   01394 444553 
(m) 07919624194

Contact information:

Richard Bennett
Headlands (Thorpeness) Ltd
Mobile: 07774 796 147. Office:   020 7078 1965. Home:  01959 534 218.
Thorpeness: 01728 452746

The Consultation was announced as follows on 14th November, 2013:

Coastal Management, Suffolk Coastal & Waveney District Councils encourage you to have your say

‘Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs) identify how the coast is to be managed around the English and Welsh coastline over the short / medium and long term.

Suffolk Coastal District Council and the Environment Agency, have permissive powers to manage the coastline at Thorpeness.  It has recognised through working with members of the local community in responding to a number of erosion events over the past three years that the SMP policy needs to be updated.

The current approved Shoreline Management Policy (SMP) for Thorpeness village frontage is for ‘No Active Intervention (recognising the potential need for minor works subject to local impacts)’ in the short and medium term. In the long term the policy for the northern part of this village frontage is again Managed Realignment but the southern part is No Active Intervention.  The timeframes are defined in national SMP guidance as; short term up to 2025, medium term 2026 to 2055 and long term 2056 to 2105.

The proposed policy is for ‘Managed Realignment’ over the short, medium and long term, nominally until 2105. 

Managed Realignment (as defined by Defra) allows for ‘the shoreline to move backwards or forwards, with management to control or limit movement.’

It is felt that the amended policy definition is a better fit with the underlying intent for management for the frontage, as described in the SMP, and this will not change.

The coastline is expected to continue to be eroded by the sea and this change to policy does not mean that it will now be automatically defended but it does allow greater flexibility for the District Council to work with the local community to develop a way forward that meets the needs of the community.

Although the change has been agreed in principle by the Suffolk Coast Forum (including organisations such as Natural England and the Environment Agency) it is important that you have the opportunity to have your say about the change of policy and raise any questions or concerns.

With your support this change can be recommended to Suffolk Coastal District Cabinet for approval in January 2014. The results of the consultation will be forwarded to the Parish Council and the Thorpeness Coastal Futures Group and also posted on the SCDC website. Final approval from the Environment Agency would not be expected until later in 2014.

If this is not supported by the community, the current policy will continue and the range of potential solutions for future management will be more limited.

It is important to note that a change in policy does not in its self give access to government funding, any further work will require funding to be sourced including from the local community.

You can comment on this proposed change either through the Thorpeness Coastal Futures Group website, Suffolk Coastal website (  or by post (see address below)

The closing date for all comments was 5:00pm Friday 13th December,.

Thank you. Bill Parker.

Thorpeness Consultation
c/o Bill Parker, Head of Coastal Management
Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils
Melton Hill
Suffolk IP12 1AU