Innovative coastal project has helped those at most risk

More than 35 households in the East Riding most at risk to coastal erosion have benefited from funding secured by the council to help them adapt to the impact of coastal change.

In December 2009, the council was awarded £1.2 million by Defra (Department  for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) to undertake a Coastal Change Pathfinder project.  The funding was not intended as a ‘compensation’ scheme but rather to provide practical support and guidance to those most at risk.

The funding has now been allocated in full to households in or near Aldbrough, Cowden, Hornsea, Skipsea, Tunstall and Ulrome.

Support has been used to help with the cost of property demolitions and site restorations, which previously fell in full to the residents. In addition, financial support has been provided to cover practical relocation costs and for establishing residents in their new homes in safe locations. People have also received money towards removals and the purchase of essential white goods and furnishings for their new properties. The support offered to each resident has been based on an assessment of  individual circumstances and the criteria set by the Council.

There is also a small grants fund to enable individuals, groups and businesses in the East Riding to develop unique approaches to coastal erosion and coastal flood risk management.

Councillor Jane Evison, portfolioholder for rural issues and cultural services, said: “The council cannot turn back the forces of nature but what we have for the first time been able to do through Coastal Pathfinder is to provide real practical support and assistance to people most at risk to coastal erosion .  

“As the project comes to an end in March, I want to stress that we will not be resting on our laurels but will continue to lobby hard for additional funding, recognising the strong case for supporting people living on undefended East Riding coastline that does not meet the Government criteria for sea defences and highlighting how much can be achieved with relatively small amounts of money.”

A feedback report on Coastal Pathfinder was presented to the council’s cabinet on 31 January 2012 and is available on The Cabinet page.

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