General questions, coastal risks and climate change, how's it being financed and how to get involved.

About Coastwise

What is Coastwise?

Coastwise is a part of the Coastal Transition Accelerator Programme (CTAP), which will explore how we can adapt to the effects of climate change in areas of the coast in North Norfolk and East Riding of Yorkshire. CTAP aims to:

  • Speed up strategic and action planning on how the coastal local authorities, partners and communities will address the long-term plan of moving communities, businesses and resources away from the coastline at risk.
  • Support the trialing of early on-the-ground actions for medium and long-term plans. This will allow coastal areas at serious risk to address the challenges a changing climate creates.

What will Coastwise be able to do?

Coastwise will work with residents and businesses to prepare and plan for the long term. Some immediate changes will support the long-term resilience of communities near the coast.

These actions may include:

  • ‘rolling back’ property and facilities most likely to be affected by coastal erosion
  • improving and replacing damaged community facilities like beach access or coastal transport links
  • replacing public or community-owned buildings in areas at risk with removable, modular, or other building ideas
  • repurposing land in coastal erosion zones for different uses, such as creating temporary car parks or restoring natural habitats

Actions may also include working with the finance and property sectors to explore funding methods to help move communities away from fast-eroding areas. For example, schemes to encourage the relocation of at-risk infrastructure for businesses and homeowners.

As well as using the local planning system to support a managed transition of existing development. This means allowing new adaptable development in appropriate areas and restricting unsustainable development in areas at risk of coastal erosion.

As Coastwise develops with communities, details of specific activities will become available.

What can't Coastwise do?

Coastwise funding can only be used in areas at risk of coastal erosion in North Norfolk. Coastwise cannot build traditional coastal risk management structures to prevent erosion It also cannot fund standard local authority activities such as emergency planning

What area does Coastwise cover?

Only areas at risk of coastal erosion in North Norfolk can use the Coastwise funding. However, some actions may need to include other places inland. For example, it may require resources to be moved away from coastal erosion risk

Which organisations are involved?

As part of the government’s £200 million innovation fund, £36 million will be invested to adapt to the effects of climate change on the coast through the Coastal Transition Accelerator Programme (CTAP). Coastwise will receive some of this funding from the government through the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The two main local authorities that are part of the initial phase of the CTAP are North Norfolk and East Riding of Yorkshire. These two areas have the highest erosion rate in England and contain 84.1% of all residential properties at risk of coastal erosion in the next 20 years.

The Environment Agency will manage the programme, supporting coastal local authorities as they develop and deliver their local projects. Coastwise will also share learning with other coastal areas facing similar challenges. Coastwise already involves the University of East Anglia and will link with other partners as the programme develops to help deliver our aims.

Why do we need Coastwise?

North Norfolk District Council and our local communities have been looking for better support for coastal transition and adaptation. Coastwise allows us to build on our existing knowledge and experience to prepare for the possible impacts of climate change. This will help inform the future support for local government, communities, businesses and individuals.

How will decisions be made?

North Norfolk District Council has taken on a plan of work suggested by Coastwise, and a programme board will oversee this. Decisions will be made about the scheme’s delivery through the usual local government decision-making process.

The main aim of Coastwise is to co-create transition plans and actions with the communities affected. We will work with partners and communities to identify how to do this together.

How long will the project last?

The project began in March 2022 and will finish in March 2027. During this time, North Norfolk will receive funding from the government to work with communities on the coast at risk of coastal erosion.

What will the success of Coastwise look like?

Coastwise will develop and apply a strategic transition planning approach, introducing practical actions to support communities through coastal change.

By 2027, across local government teams and partners, the programme will have worked with communities in North Norfolk to develop a coastal change transition planning process and test practical actions. Coastwise will also have collected evidence that will help guide local and national policy options.

What happens after the project?

The successful ability to adapt to coastal change can increase well-being and business confidence and create a strong, sustainable coastal community. This will improve long-term social and economic opportunities.

The aim is to achieve three main outcomes after Coastwise ends.

Prepared and more resilient communities

Communities in North Norfolk feel they have a more sustainable future, they know how to find support, allowing them to move away from risk.

Supported, resourced and prepared local governance

North Norfolk District Council has enough resources and capability to assess, find funding, manage and deliver effective adaptation and transition options to its communities.

Informed national and local policy, strategies, plans and processes for coastal management

Using our practical experiences, evidence, analysis, and evaluation process to make future sustainable coastal transition policies and strategies.

Coastal risks, climate change and the environment

How can Coastwise help if my house or business is at erosion risk?

Coastwise may be able to provide some form of support if your property is at risk from erosion. Please contact

How much erosion is predicted in North Norfolk?

North Norfolk and East Riding of Yorkshire have the highest erosion rates in England and contain 84.1% of all residential properties at risk of coastal erosion in the next 20 years.

Updated erosion risk information is being prepared and will be publicly available in early 2024.

How will North Norfolk benefit from Coastwise?

Coastwise allows North Norfolk to be at the front of developing coastal transition solutions. It means we can deliver practical actions to help individuals, businesses and communities. We will find an approach that helps provide a permanent delivery plan for coastal transition in North Norfolk and other areas.

Will Coastwise consider climate change?

Yes, as climate change is the biggest risk we face. We will use the latest erosion risk mapping data with up-to-date climate scenarios to help make our plans and decisions.

Will Coastwise consider the benefits provided by ecosystem services?

Natural ecosystem services provide huge benefits. By considering these benefits, we hope to raise awareness and understanding of the natural capital assets in the area.

We must understand how coastal risk management options could impact natural capital assets and the ecosystem services delivered. This will allow for more informed choices and better consideration of environmental concerns in decision-making.

We also plan to find opportunities to preserve and enhance natural capital assets and ecosystem services.

Finances and funding

Will Coastwise provide compensation for homes lost to erosion?

Coastwise will not provide compensation for homes lost to erosion. This has been the position of successive governments and is specifically stated as something the Coastal Transition Accelerator Programme cannot provide. However, financial support may be available to help a managed transition out of the coastal erosion risk area.

New funding and finance measures are essential to the programme, and Coastwise will explore this. We do not know what our findings mean for funding long-term national, local, or individual transition.

How much money is funded by government departments, and how much is North Norfolk District Council contributing?

As part of the government’s £200 million innovation fund, £36 million will be invested through the Coastal Transition Accelerator Programme (CTAP) to adapt to the effects of climate change on the coast. Coastwise will receive approximately £15 million of this funding from the government through the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra).

North Norfolk District Council is looking to involve coastal transition in its daily service delivery across council services to make sure North Norfolk is prepared in the long term.

Can individuals, communities or businesses make financial or other contributions?

We all have a part to play in coastal transition preparedness. Coastwise allows us to learn how to do this. However, we must also explore how this can be funded and financed for the longer term after the Coastwise programme. If you are interested in contributing, please contact

Innovative funding and finance measures are an important part of the programme, and Coastwise will explore this. If you want to discuss this further, please contact

Other plans and projects

Can we build coastal defences instead?

New coastal risk management schemes, including physical structures like walls or rock armour, require in-depth evidence and justification showing that the scheme will be beneficial, realistic and will not have negative impacts. When funded entirely or partially by the central government, there are mandatory tests to select the most suitable coastal risk management approach.

These assessments can be categorised into several groups:

  • Strategic: is it needed?
  • Technical: is it achievable?
  • Economic: is it value for money?
  • Financial: is it affordable?
  • Environmental: what is the impact on the environment?

These assessments need to look at the immediate investment, such as construction, as well as the whole-life impacts of the scheme. Erosion is an important natural process that provides us with beaches and flood and erosion protection elsewhere through natural sediment movement. Stopping erosion everywhere is environmentally unrealistic, as valuable sediment would no longer enter the coastal system.

In most cases, coastal risk management structures are difficult to design and build, can have negative environmental impacts on local areas and communities, and will need large amounts of local funding. It is unrealistic and unsustainable to continue to protect large parts of the North Norfolk coast. Coastwise is important because we will look to deliver other actions to help those at risk.

What is the plan for the Bacton to Walcott coastline once the sandscaping has depleted?

The Sandscaping Scheme is looked at regularly to understand how the sand is moving, what levels of protection it may provide, and for how long. Over time, the scheme was made to reprofile and for the sand to move from this area to other coastal areas, providing larger beaches elsewhere.

The project looks to provide up to 15 years of protection for the Bacton Gas Terminal, creating time to plan and prepare for coastal change in this area. The terminal may complete further coastal work to protect the site in the future. This may benefit the Bacton to Walcott coastline, but this is not certain. We will need to work with the communities to plan for future coastal change, and Coastwise allows us to begin this planning process. It will also help us understand the methods needed to help communities, businesses, infrastructure providers, and local governments adapt to these changes. The learning from Coastwise will help inform national support and approaches in the future.

How is Coastwise different from Pathfinder?

Pathfinder successfully shows how North Norfolk can deliver coastal adaptation. Since Pathfinder, the need to prepare for climate change, including coastal transition, resilience and adaptation, is at the front of national policy and strategy.

Coastwise receives funding from the Coastal Transition Accelerator Programme, which is part of the government’s delivery of this policy and strategy. Learning from this will help shape how we can all adapt to a changing coast and what support is needed.

Does Coastwise consider the Shoreline Management Plans?

Coastwise will look to develop better connections between the Shoreline Management Plan, Local Plan and other local strategies. Many coastal change issues are linked to wider challenges and opportunities. By connecting strategies and plans, better outcomes are likely to be achieved.

Will Coastwise change the Shoreline Management Plan policy?

Coastwise cannot make changes to existing Shoreline Management Plan policies.

Having your say and getting involved

Will communities have a say in what action is taken in their local area?

Coastwise will be looking to co-create transition plans and practical actions with communities. We must work together to create a sustainable way forward for the future.

How can local communities get involved?

Please contact to get involved.

Coastwise will organise events along the coast shortly.

I don’t have easy access to the internet. How can I view information?

We understand that some people do not have easy access to the internet. If this is the case, then please write to us at:

North Norfolk District Council
Council Offices
Holt Road
NR27 9EN

Or call 01263 513811, and we will be happy to help you.

I have a visual impairment. Are your documents accessible?

We have made our documents as accessible as possible, following the government accessibility guidelines for online content.

If you experience difficulties accessing the information, please contact us at or call 01263 513811.

Where can I find further information?

Learn more at Coastwise


Write to us:

North Norfolk District Council
Council Offices
Holt Road
NR27 9EN

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