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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 July 2006, 08:48 GMT 09:48 UK
Report predicts coastal land loss
Flamborough Head, East Yorkshire
The soft geology of the Yorkshire coast is vulnerable to erosion
Large stretches of the North Yorkshire coast will be left at the mercy of the elements under sea defence plans for the next 100 years, it has emerged.

The Shoreline Management Plan covering the coast from Staithes to Flamborough Head predicts "a substantial loss of land" because of erosion.

It acknowledges properties will be lost but says "action to defend them would be difficult to justify economically".

A public meeting to discuss the plan is being held in Scarborough on Tuesday.

Other meetings will be held at the Evron Centre in Filey on Wednesday morning and Whitby's Pavilion Complex on Wednesday afternoon.

The plan has been drawn up by officials from local councils, led by Scarborough Borough Council, and representatives of other bodies including the Environment Agency, English Nature and the North York Moors National Park.

Cowbar and Staithes, North Yorkshire
Cowbar and Staithes are threatened by waves

In places like Whitby, Scarborough and Filey, the policy will be to maintain the existing coastline by shoring up defences.

However, in places like Staithes and Robin Hood's Bay some properties are likely to be allowed to fall into the sea because it would cost too much to protect them.

The report predicts "a significant area of loss to some of the more mobile or softer commercial activities of the area" - such as farmland along much of the coastline, golf courses at Seaton Carew, Whitby and Filey, and caravan parks at Coatham, south of Whitby, and at Filey.

Similarly, nothing would be done to protect properties at Flat Cliff, a small community on the coast a couple of miles south of Filey.

It says at Sandsend, north of Whitby, an alternative route should be found for the road which currently runs along the coast.

The document says: "Within 100 years the plan acknowledges a substantial loss of coastal land currently supporting agriculture, recreation and leisure activities.

"The challenge in managing such frontages will be to examine the balance between natural, technical and economic considerations.

"There is a presumption against active intervention over the majority of the length of coastline.

"It is important, therefore, that monitoring is put in place, or continued, so as to work with owners in providing best advice as to when change is occurring.

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06 Jan 06 |  North Yorkshire

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