East Riding of Yorkshire Council has taken big steps forward in its bid to establish a sustainable approach to managing coastal erosion.

A series of actions have been agreed following a meeting of council representatives with Rory Stewart MP, Environment Minister at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), and East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight.

The council and Sir Greg MP outlined how Holderness has the fastest eroding coastline in western Europe and urged Mr Stewart MP to support local initiatives to manage coastal erosion.

The meeting resulted in Mr Stewart MP agreeing to officials at DEFRA working with the council to develop a localised approach to coastal change management in the East Riding.

The Environment Minister also agreed to lobby the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to request that the criteria for the Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) be extended to allow applications for coastal change mitigation and adaptation proposals.

The outcomes have been welcomed by Sir Greg and the council.

This follows a visit by the Minister, at Sir Greg’s request, to Skipsea and Ulrome earlier this year.

Mr Stewart was able to see at first hand the issues facing the residents and property owners who live, literally, on the edge of the Holderness coast.

Sir Greg Knight MP said: “I am pleased to have be able to help the council with this important issue, am grateful to the Minister for his time and I look forward to DEFRA and the DCLG taking the proposals forward.”

The follow-up meeting to the site visit saw Sir Greg MP, Councillor Fraser, council chief executive Nigel Pearson and Alan Menzies present the council’s proposed approach to managing coastal change in the East Riding to the Minister.

The proposed approach includes:

  • the extension of the Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) to allow funding applications for coastal change mitigation/adaptation;
  • flexibility in the use of Defra’s Basic Erosion Assistance Grant (BEAG) to support people whose homes are affected by coastal erosion; and
  • the development of a Coastal Change Management Framework by the council.

The Minister was supportive of the approach and agreed to progress the issue within DEFRA and with DCLG.