Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment): 6th November, 2012

Report of the Director of Visible Services and Housing


Lavernock Point to St. Ann's Head - Shoreline Management Plan SMP2


Purpose of the Report

1.             To advise Committee of the contents of the draft Lavernock Point to St. Ann's Head - Shoreline Management Plan (SMP2) which covers the Vale coastline from Lavernock to the mouth of the River Ogmore.

2.             To consider its adoption as the Council's high level policy document for coastal flood and erosion risk management planning.


1.             That Committee endorse the proposal to adopt the draft SMP2 document following its approval by the Welsh Government Minister for the Environment, Sustainability and Housing.

2.             That this report and the comments of this Committee be passed to Cabinet for consideration and approval.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To obtain the views of this Committee prior to Cabinet giving its consideration to adopting the Lavernock Point to St. Ann's Head - Shoreline Management Plan (SMP2) document as the Council's high level policy for coastal flood and erosion risk management planning.

2.             To provide Cabinet with the opportunity to consider any comments from this Committee prior to accepting the document.


3.             A report entitled “Severn Estuary Shoreline Management Plan 2 and Swansea and Carmarthen Bay Shoreline Management Plan 2 - Proposed Preferred Policy Options” was presented to Cabinet on 17th March 2010 (Cabinet minute C801). This report set out the preferred policy options contained within these draft SMP2 documents for the future management of the coast and coastal zone within the Vale of Glamorgan.

Cabinet resolved


(1) T H A T the preferred policy options, as set out in the two draft SMP2 documents attached to the report at Appendix B and Appendix C be accepted, with the amended position of “Hold the Line” for Penarth Esplanade.


(2) T H A T the final SMP2 documents, when published following the completion of the consultation process, be adopted as the Council’s high level policy for the management of the coastline and the coastal zone.


Reasons for decisions


(1) That the development of the SMP2 documents can be progressed with the knowledge that the Council as key stakeholder is in agreement in principle with the proposed policy options.


(2) To ensure that all the Council’s strategic decisions affecting the coastline and the coastal zone are taken with the full knowledge of the issues that have been considered during the preparation of the SMP2 documents


4.             The current Shoreline Management Plans have been reviewed and a Shoreline Management Plan (SMP2) has been produced. The document is a high level evaluation of the shoreline that includes:

  • Large-scale assessments of the coastline – how the coast will change over time with erosion, sea level rise and climate change in 3 epochs; the next 20 years, 20 to 50 years and 50 to100 years;
  • Identification of the risks to both, the historic and natural environment as the coast changes;
  • Policy frameworks to address the risks in a sustainable manner – an indication of how the coastline should look under the promoted policies in 20, 50 and 100 years.

5.             The main objective of the SMP2 is to identify sustainable long-term management policies for the coast. This Plan (SMP2) recommends changes to the current approach in some areas, it will help manage these so that the people, places, industry and wildlife affected can adapt at a reasonable pace. This approach avoids tying future generations into inflexible and expensive options for development and defence on the coast.

6.             The shoreline management options that have been considered are those defined by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). These are summarized below as:

  • Hold the Line: Maintain the existing defence;
  • Advance the Line: Build new defences seaward of the existing defence line;
  • Managed Realignment: Allow the shoreline to change with management to control or limit movement; and
  • No Active Intervention: A decision not to invest in providing or maintaining defences.

7.             Each policy unit has been considered over three time epochs as follows;

  • 0-20 years
  • 20-50 years
  • and 50-100 years.

Relevant Issues and Options

8.             The section of the Vale of Glamorgan coastline within the Lavernock Point to St. Ann's Head Shoreline Management Plan SMP2 document extends from Lavernock Point to the mouth of the River Ogmore and consists of six policy units, (see plan Appendix A).

  • Lavernock Point to Barry Island (PU 1),
  • Barry Island and Docks (PU 2);
  • The Knap to Watch House Bay (PU 3);
  • Aberthaw (PU 4),
  • Limpert Bay to Nash Point (PU 5)
  • and the major part of Nash Point to Porthcawl (PU 6).

9.           Lavernock Point to Barry Island (PU 1)

The preferred policy for PU 1 is one of ‘No Active Intervention for the three epochs with the following exception, at Swanbridge it is one of 'Hold the Line' for the first epoch. At this location there will be an increased risk of coastal erosion and localised flooding. It is recommended that best use is made of existing defences by maintaining them for as long as possible and moving to a policy of 'No Active Intervention'.


10.        Barry Island and Docks (PU2)

The preferred policies for PU 2 is one of ‘Hold the Line’ with the following exceptions;

The policy for Whitmore Bay is 'Managed Realignment' after the second epoch (50-100 years).

The policy for Barry Old Harbour from the breakwater to Watch House Bay is 'Hold the Line' through maintenance and upgrading of existing defences, and along undefended frontages natural erosion will be allowed to continue.


11.        The Knap to Watch House Beach (PU3)

The preferred policy for PU 3 is one of ‘No Active Intervention’ with the following exceptions:

The policy for The Knap is one of 'Hold the Line' for the first epoch with a long term management plan of 'Managed Realignment'. The promenade at The Knap should be maintained for as long as possible followed by the managed realignment of the shingle bank as it naturally rolls landward.


12.        Aberthaw (PU4)

The preferred policies for PU 4 is one of ‘Hold the Line’

This unit is highly modified with major private defences around the power station and associated spoil tip. The River Thaw has been heavily modified and is contained within training walls for the majority of its normal tidal limit.


13.        Limpert Bay to Nash Point (PU5)

The preferred policy for PU 5 is one of ‘No Active Intervention’ with the following exceptions:

At Cwm Col-Huw (Llantwit Major) beach there is a rock revetment to the west of the river. The seawall and car park to the east of the river have recently been set back. Whilst there is a policy of hold the line in the short term, it is recommended that the defences and assets to the west of the river should be set back over time. These defences would then be maintained, although further managed realignment is proposed in the long term subject to further detailed studies and the future availability of public funding for coastal erosion and flood risk management.


At Tresilian and St. Donat’s, private funding of defence maintenance and upgrading, along the existing line, is acceptable subject to obtaining necessary licences, consents and approvals. 


14.        Nash Point to Porthcawl (PU6) (from Nash Point to River Ogmore)

The preferred policy for PU 6 is one of ‘No Active Intervention’ with the following exceptions:

To the south of Ogmore River the recommended policy is no active intervention to allow coastal erosion of the undefended coastline to continue, maintaining geological exposures. Subject to the availability of public funding, the car park and facilities at Dunraven Bay could be maintained, provided necessary consents, licences and approvals are obtained.


15.        The SMP2 will assist in determining the most sustainable way to manage the risks of coastal erosion and flooding whilst continuing to protect the environment and heritage features. It will feed into strategies for the maintenance of existing and design of future defence schemes and will inform future planning decisions and the emerging Local Development Plan. In essence SMP2 will help the Council to make decisions now on how to manage the coastline in the future and will inform future budgetary decisions for central and local government funding.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

16.        The contributions from the Vale of Glamorgan Council towards the cost of the preparation of this Plan have been found from existing revenue budgets. The cost for producing the SMP2 was £574,317.00 of which 85% was grant funded by the Welsh Government.  The balance was split between the 9 members of the Coastal Engineering Group giving a figure of £9571.95. 

17.        Any future large scale works to improve defences would be subject to capital bids as and when required.

18.        The Engineering Projects team within the Highways and Engineering Division of Visible Services provides expertise for the management of the Council's assets and coastline and has managed the development of SMP2 on behalf of the Council.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

19.        Although the preferred policies have been developed to ensure that the decisions taken are both sustainable and affordable for each section of the coastline, there will be financial implications for the Council in the future. The formal defences along the coast will reach the end of their useful life within the policy lifetime and will require upgrading or replacing in the future. This work will require a considerable financial investment that may or may not be assisted by the Welsh Government. The adoption of the SMP2 by the Council as a strategic document will inform future discussions on this and other coastal issues.

20.        The Council will need to ensure there is a long term commitment to the management of its coastline. The SMP2 has been developed so as to meet the requirements of the Government's 'Making Space for Water' strategy for flood and coastal erosion risk management and the Catchment Flood Management Plans. There will be an increasing need for the Council to work closely with Environment Agency in developing and reviewing these documents.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

21.        There are no legal implications to this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

22.        There are no crime and disorder implications to this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

23.        There are no equal opportunity implications to this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

24.        Sustainable development to establish a long term sustainable strategy to manage the shoreline.

Policy Framework and Budget

25.        This is a matter for Executive decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

26.        Public meetings were held locally being facilitated by the Consultants involved.  Local Members were invited to these meetings.  No further consultation has been undertaken.

Background Papers

Cabinet minute C801 17th March 2010


Contact Officer

Chris Perkins, Group Engineer Highways Structures and Engineering Projects

Tel No. 02920 673 075


Officers Consulted

Accountant, Building and Visible Services

Operational Manager, Legal Services

Director of Development Services


Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter, Director of Visible Services and Housing