Application of Coastal Change Management Areas (CCMAs) for coastal adaptation to climate change impacts in SW England

East & North Devon
Project Code: CCMA PhD

Project team

Project Lead
Josie-Alice Kirby
PhD Student
Kit Stokes
Impact Fellow
Tim Poate
Impact Fellow
Gerd Masselink
Academic Lead

Why it matters

With the UK coastline retreating up to a metre every decade due to erosion, landslips, flooding and shifting sediments Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) have the difficult task of managing future developments along these unstable coastal and estuarine margins.  To inform planning and management decisions, the UK’s National Planning Policy Framework requires LPAs to identify Coastal Change Management Areas (CCMAs) – where shorelines are likely to change significantly over the next 100 years. LPAs, however, often lack the ability to do this and uptake has been minimal.   


What we did

Josie’s research ran alongside, and fed into, the SWEEP Coastal Change Management Area project, contributing to the evidence base for a new scientifically robust methodology for demarcating CCMAs.  

 Specifically, Josie’s PhD reviewed current UK and international CCMA practices and policies, and assessed current and future coastal erosion rates and flood risk in the South West, with the aim of better defining CCMAs around the South West coast.  

Impacts & benefits

Josie has worked alongside coastal planners and management bodies to increase consideration and implementation of CCMAs across the region with the aim of strengthening community resilience along the changing coast. 

Josie’s work has fed directly into the main CCMA project and has contributed to the range of impacts this has successful delivered,  including using the SWEEP CCMA methodology to map the coast lines of two areas in North and East Devon.  This is being used to strengthen planning decisions that will lead to enhanced environmental, economic and societal benefits for local areas, and wider discussions and plans for further uptake of CCMAs across and beyond the region which, it is anticipated, will ultimately influence coastal planning and management policy in this area.