Gorleston Beach
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  • These events occurrred in the years 2004/5

DEFRA and Coastal Protection at Gorleston

We at gorleston Beach took the trouble to find out how DEFRA allocates funds circa 2004.

This is a rough guide to the way DEFRA assesses the merits of Coastal Protection schemes that are presented to them for consideration. The three principal areas that are scrutinised are:


Within these areas there are various criteria laid down by DEFRA that must be met before the proposed scheme can go forward. There is no 'weighting' in this part of the process. A failure to meet the criteria in any of the above areas means the scheme will not be considered further.


Once the criteria are met, the proposed scheme is assessed and points are awarded relating to the scheme's merits. If enough points are awarded by DEFRA it cannot be assumed that they will automatically fund the scheme. A further assessment is made by DEFRA as to the overall benefits and cost of the scheme. Then, they will decide whether to provide funding.


Under the Coast Protection Act, 1949 the GYBC are obliged to give notification of 28 days for objections from the public to any proposed scheme they recommend to DEFRA. They have to advertise this notification in at least two local newspapers. However, they can do this at any stage of the proceedings. DEFRA will take into account objections received by letter during any stage of their deliberations.

DEFRA do not have any financial limits on how much they will pay for a Coastal Protection Scheme. Therefore the Councils assertion that DEFRA would not pay £10.5m to replace the Sea Wall at Gorleston is not true.

So there are a number of ifs, buts and maybes when it comes to getting money from DEFRA. If the GYBC think that Halcrow's assessment of this scheme will attract 21 points and thereby puts them home free (incidentally 20 points is the minimum to get funding) they may be in for a disappointment.

Despite Halcrow's assertion at the Gorleston Library meeting that 'Do Nothing' is not an option, the Council may take the opposite view. Since they cannot see beyond getting the funding from DEFRA to carry out any Coastal Protection work at Gorleston then presumably if no funding is forthcoming then the 'Do Nothing' will become the 'Preferred Option'.

Should anyone wish to get further information from DEFRA then either e-mail them or telephone them. We found them extremely helpful and satisfactorily answered all questions we put to them. We are willing to publish any additional information you might have regarding the DEFRA process.

Something to think about.

Councils and MP's are more likely to respond to pressure groups - so become one if you expect results.