Decision details

Coastal Change Management Areas

Decision Maker: Planning Policy Committee

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


(During the debate, Councillor Elkins declared a Personal Interest as the Council’s representative on the Local Government Association’s Coastal Special Interest Group.)


Upon the invitation of the Chair, the Engineering Services Manager presented his report which contained a draft consultants’ brief for endorsement by Members to investigate the introduction of a Coastal Change Management Area (CCMA) following a decision by Cabinet in October 2020 to allocate £30,000 for this undertaking. The report also sought endorsement of how planning applications in the Pagham area would be dealt with in the meantime.The Engineering Services Manager highlighted the dynamic nature of the coastal erosion in Pagham and the risk of flooding.


Members then took part in a full debate on the item where a number of points were raised including:

·         whether the CCMA should cover an area wider than illustrated in Appendix 1 of the report, and how it might impact the strategic sites in Pagham in the Local Plan

·         the nature of the consultation process and involvement of environmental agencies (Natural England etc) because of the sensitivity of sites in Pagham being Sites of Special Scientific Interest

·         the need for an indication of timescales, particularly in relation to concerns over flooding at Pagham harbour due to the unpredictable movement of the spit and the potentially significant consequences of this

·         the need to treat the introduction of a CCMA as a matter of urgency due to events at Climping and widen the area to cover from West of the river Arun to Pagham

·         statements in the NPPF which state that developments have to be safe for their lifetime, and Members not knowing without the evidence of the CCMA consultation if that would be the case for new or existing development

·         whether Officers had all the recommendations they needed to proceed with the study in the report or whether further approvals would be needed between Committee meetings

·         whether other vulnerable areas were looked at in the preliminary stages of this report and would be brought forward for their own CCMAs

·         the involvement and implications for the Council’s Planning team

·         the need for a refresh of the shoreline management plan and areas whose inclusion might need re-examination


The Engineering Services Manager provided Members with answers to all points raised during the debate. He confirmed toMembers that the report looked at the implications of having a CCMA rather than suggesting the introduction of one at this stage, but agreed with the urgency raised by Members.


The recommendations were then proposed and seconded.


The Committee




1.            The outline brief for the Coastal Change Management Area (CCMA) study (as set out in 1.14 to 18 as appropriate) be approved.


2.            The timing of the study be scheduled for a start of procurement beginning October 2021, in order to accommodate the outcome of the Southern Regional Flood and Coastal Committee’s decision on whether to provide extra funding and consequently, the final scope of the study.


3.            The Engineering Services Manager in consultation with the Planning Policy Committee Chair and Group Head of Planning, be delegated authority to proceed with the necessary administrative procedures and procurement processes based upon Southern Regional Flood and Coastal Committee’s funding decision.


4.            The guidance as set out in the report under ‘Interim Approach’ be used to assess the development merits of all Planning Applications coming forward on the Pagham Beach Estate, with reference to the plan at Appendix 1 (as a material consideration) until such time as the Planning Policy Committee decides whether to introduce a CCMA.


5.            The draw-down of any further Local Levy monies granted by the Southern Regional Flood and Coastal Committee be authorised for the CCMA work.

Report author: Roger Spencer

Publication date: 12/10/2021

Date of decision: 06/10/2021

Decided at meeting: 06/10/2021 - Planning Policy Committee

Accompanying Documents: