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Managing our coastline

Sunderland City Council is defined as a Coast Protection Authority under the Coast Protection Act 1949 (CPA) and has a coastal erosion risk management function under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010. The CPA is administered by the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and is broadly intended to allow Coast Protection Authorities to carry out capital works, whilst routine maintenance and general husbandry of the coast is regarded as a local function. The Environment Agency (EA) is the primary sea defence authority for England, while Coast Protection Authorities have two functions; regulating the protection works of others (such as landowners), and promoting their own schemes part-funded by grants from the EA. 

The Act makes no specific provisions for amenity or conservation works and is confined solely to defence structures. There are however numerous other regulations and European Directives that ensure environmental considerations play a major part in the design and construction of any new scheme or maintenance works, and under the CPA a Coast Protection Authority must consider the Water Framework Directive, and the Land Drainage Act 2010 at all times.

Sunderland City Council frontage extends from The Bents to Ryhope Dene and the authority are responsible for maintaining sea defences.

The Shoreline Management Plan 2
A Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) exists to promote good and prudent management of the coastline. The overall aim of the SMP is to set out a plan for a 100-year period indicating how our coastline should be managed, considering the wider implications on the neighbouring coastline and the environment.

It provides a large-scale assessment of the risks associated with coastal processes and presents a policy framework to reduce these risks to people and the developed, historic and natural environment in a sustainable manner into the 22nd century.

The Shoreline Management Plan 2 (SMP2) was completed in February 2007 and was developed in conjunction with neighbouring coastal authorities.

See the North East Coastal Group for further information.

Cliff Subsidence
Cliff subsidence does naturally occur and therefore it is always wise to take precaution when near the cliff face. Subsidence can be reported through the central switchboard 0191 520 5555.

Port of Sunderland
Port of Sunderland are responsible for management of the Port of Sunderland in partnership with Sunderland City Council and can be contacted on 0191 553 2100.

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