Councillors are calling on the Government to make money available for vulnerable coastal communities to relocate or make suitable adaptations to their properties due to the impact of coastal erosion.
Rather than providing compensation to residents for loss, members of East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s environment and regeneration overview and scrutiny committee have written to James Brokenshire, MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to create a “distinct and on-going funding source” to be established as a “viable alternative to engineered defences”.
The East Yorkshire coastline is one of the fastest eroding coastlines in Europe, experiencing average erosion rates of up to four metres a year and individual cliff losses of over 20 metres, resulting in a significant risk that residential properties, businesses and infrastructure will be lost to coastal erosion.
Recently, the council was involved in a trial project, the East Riding Coastal Change Pathfinder (ERCCP) where a £1.2million grant from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs allowed vulnerable coastal communities to adapt to the impact of coastal change either by relocating to safe accommodation inland or adapting their properties as appropriate.
Councillor David Elvidge, chairman of the environment and regeneration overview and scrutiny committee, said: “Coastal erosion is a massive issue for the council and we are committed to delivering adaptation to areas which are not financially, socially or environmentally sustainable.
“Rather than providing compensation to residents for loss we want to be able to help but we need backing from the Government which is why we are calling on them to establish a distinct and on-going funding source for coastal adaptation that will be recognised, promoted and resourced by the Government as a viable alternative to engineered defences.”