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Shoreline management plans in England and Wales: a scientific and transparent process

Ballinger, Rhoda ORCID: and Dodds, Wendy 2020. Shoreline management plans in England and Wales: a scientific and transparent process. Marine Policy 111 , 102689. 10.1016/j.marpol.2017.03.009

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Coastal change, including severe winter storms, requires decision-makers to understand the nature of coastal hazards so they can manage the risks and protect coastal communities. This study has provided the first structured quantitative analysis of the scientific underpinning and transparency associated with key policies dictating the future of the coastline in England and Wales. Based on a content analysis of first and second generation shoreline management plans, it has queried the visibility, clarity and transparency of evidence. Results point to improved evidence and understanding at the regional-scale, but issues associated with the transparency of the science informing policy at local levels. Inconsistencies in performance appear to relate to differing approaches of the consultancies preparing the plans rather than the nature of the coasts, the types of policies or the government guidance informing plan development. The study points to a need for a more thorough quality assurance process at national level and calls for clearer guidance on how these regional coastal adaptation plans and their supporting science should be read and interpreted by relevant stakeholder audiences. There are clear lessons from this study for planning processes elsewhere, especially those involving the downscaling of regionally based data and information. There are also potential applications of our criteria-based approach to other planning systems which require scientific scrutiny and transparency.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0308-597X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 April 2017
Date of Acceptance: 8 March 2017
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2023 15:04

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