Coastal change - getting support

What support is available to help me deal with coastal change?

There are a number of measures in place to support coastal communities in dealing with coastal change.  These include the following:

  • Guidance on establishing what level of risk you face;

  • Advice on the issues that development in the coastal zone poses;

  • Support for considering whether Rollback is appropriate and if so how to apply; and

  • Advice on support available through the East Riding Coastal Change Fund (formerly the East Riding Coastal Change Pathfinder) to either relocate or adapt to coastal change.


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Does the council give compensation for the loss of property resulting from coastal change?

No. If your property or land is affected by coastal erosion you are not eligible for compensation from public funds. Likewise, based on current legislation, you are unable to receive compensation for loss if your coastal location is not defended or is affected by managed realignment.

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Am I at risk from coastal change?

To help you establish the level of risk you face from coastal erosion or coastal flood risk the council publishes all of its coastal monitoring data online via the coastal explorer website:

Coastal Explorer (external East Riding website)

If you have any queries regarding this data in relation to your property then please contact us on (01482) 395655 to speak to a coastal engineer who will be able to provide further advice and guidance.

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How do I get advice about development in the coastal zone?

Due to the rapidly eroding nature of some of the East Riding’s coastline it is important that inappropriate development in the coastal zone is avoided. However, development in the coastal zone is subject to normal development controls and decisions on development will be based on the most up to date information available. 

In the East Riding there are a number of planning policies that have been put in place to help support adaptation to coastal change. In some instances these policies, known as 'Rollback', allow some relaxation of planning restrictions.

If you have any queries regarding development along the coast and whether Rollback is possible please read our planning pages. On these pages you will also be able to find out the best way to apply for Rollback. Please see the next question below for more information about what Rollback is.

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What is ‘Rollback’?

East Riding of Yorkshire Council developed the concept of ‘Rollback’ to address the impact of coastal erosion on homes, farms and caravan parks.

‘Rollback’ looks at how residents or buildings can physically move further inland away from the threat of coastal erosion whilst improving the quality of the local environment and sustaining the communities.

'Rollback' is an alternative to people losing their homes from coastal erosion, or the need to install hard engineering defences. The concept originally focussed on caravan parks (2003-04) and was extended to houses and farmsteads (2005). ‘Rollback’ provides a planning response to reducing the effects of coastal erosion on communities that can be applied to other coastal areas. However, the concept presented a particular challenge to local forward planning policy, in terms of seeking locations for ‘new’ (or replacement) buildings in open countryside.

Emphasis is being placed upon adaptation strategies such as ‘Rollback’, in emerging national coastal change policy guidance. This is because they offer a sustainable alternative to hard-engineered coastal defences where they are not considered to be viable. 'Rollback' is just one of a suite of adaptive measures which was considered as part of the East Riding Coastal Change Pathfinder.

The council assesses each application for ‘Rollback’ in order to establish the level of risk to the existing property and the suitability of the proposed 'Rollback' plot based on the most up to date coastal monitoring information.

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What was the East Riding Coastal Change Pathfinder?

In February 2010, the council secured £1.2 million from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to deliver 1 of 15 national Coastal Change Pathfinder projects. The East Riding Coastal Change Pathfinder (Pathfinder) ran until March 2012 in order to test approaches to helping coastal communities to adapt to coastal change.

In March 2012, the East Riding Coastal Change Fund was created to distribute the Pathfinder funding which remained. Like the Pathfinder, the East Riding Coastal Change Fund exists to offers guidance and limited financial assistance to the owners of properties at risk from coastal erosion. Once all of the remaining Defra funding has been spent the East Riding Coastal Change Fund will close unless further external funding can be secured. The council is currently trying to secure further funds to continue this work.

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What were the aims of the Coastal Change Pathfinder?

From February 2010 – March 2012, the East Riding Coastal Change Pathfinder (Pathfinder) provided financial support and guidance to those groups and individuals who were identified as being most vulnerable to coastal erosion. The permanent residents of properties at imminent risk from erosion were offered incentives to relocate to safe accommodation. It is important to note that the Pathfinder assisted individuals and groups who were seeking to adapt to coastal change, rather than compensating for loss.

The Enhanced Assistance Package of the Pathfinder helped residents at risk from coastal erosion to move to safe locations or adapt their properties if appropriate. Towards the end of the project, the Enhanced Assistance Package was made available to the owners of properties deemed to be at imminent, higher or lower risk from coastal erosion, as identified by the Shoreline Management Plan (SMP).

The new East Riding Coastal Change Fund is there to support coastal residents whose primary dwellings are under significant threat from coastal erosion and who genuinely need support to adapt or relocate to safe areas.

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How could the East Riding Coastal Change Fund help you?

Depending on the level of risk you face you may be able to access the support detailed below. Properties at imminent risk are those located within the maximum loss distance recorded in one year for that location (since recording began). Properties at higher risk fall outside the maximum annual loss area for that location, but fall within an area projected to be lost by 2025. A third level of 'lower' risk has been established for properties that fall beyond the projected 2025 line but within the 2055 projected line. The level of risk is calculated from the erosion data within the Shoreline Management Plan and the Council’s own best practice monitoring data.

Relocation (for properties at imminent, higher and lower risk)

To support relocation away from coastal risk you can get help with:

  • Demolition and site restoration costs for your property;

  • Relocation costs to move to a safer location; 

  • A small hardship payment to help offset any out of pocket expenses;

  • Payment of up to 50% of a 12-month private tenancy or assistance accessing council accommodation (if appropriate);

  • Payment of any management or agent fees relating to private tenancies; and

  • Provision of essential furnishings and white goods to help you establish yourself in a new home.

 Adaptation (for properties at higher and lower risk)

To help you adapt in your existing location you can get help with:

  • All of the relocation items as set out above;

  • Access to a 'Buy and lease back' option.  Your eligibility for this option is subject to a condition survey being carried out on your property.  Buy and lease back enables the council to buy your property and then lease it back to you so that money from the sale of the property is available for relocation when required.  Please note this option will only be available in certain circumstances; and

  • Access to Erosion Adaptation Assistance Grants: these will be awarded by an independent panel.  These grants could provide financial assistance if you feel that you are able to adapt your living environment, rather than move out of your property immediately.


Adaptation is the process of becoming adjusted to new conditions, in a way that allows individuals or communities to become better equipped to deal with the challenges posed by their environment.  Examples of coastal adaptation measures include education projects to raise awareness of coastal erosion and the relocation of households from vulnerable coastal places to safe locations.

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What happens now the Pathfinder has finished?

In Spring 2012 the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) released their feedback report on the national network of Pathfinder projects. This effectively finished the Pathfinder process. However, Defra allowed any remaining funds from local Pathfinders to be kept and spent to continue coastal change work. As a result the East Riding Coastal Change Pathfinder changed to become the East Riding Coastal Change Fund in March 2012 to allow the remaining funds to be spent.

The East Riding Coastal Change Fund will continue until the current funding has been spent. Once the Fund ends, the council will continue to lobby for a long-term package of support for vulnerable individuals who wish to adapt to coastal change. This will be taken forward through our feedback to DEFRA on how successful the Pathfinder has been.

The remaining East Riding Coastal Change Fund will be allocated on a first come first served basis, taking into account the levels of risk that communities face.

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