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SCOPAC Committee

Coastal Monitoring

The Southern Coastal Group (SCG)


Cllr Mrs M Penfold MBE, West Dorset District Council


Cllr Jackie Branson, Havant Borough Council


Technical assistance provided to Councillors by

Mr Lyall Cairns (Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership)


Dr Samantha Cope (SCOPAC Research Chair)





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Current Research

SurgeWatch: a user-friendly database of coastal flooding for the UK

SCOPAC Contaminated Land Study

Scanning of historical aerial photography

Beach response in front of structures in open coast

Reducing regional flood and erosion risk from wave action on the Channel Coast

Maintenance of coastal structures - Phase 1: Timber groynes

Completed Research

Poole Bay Nearshore Replenishment Trial (2014-2017)

Bradbury’s Bursary: Lauren Burt (2016) and Emma Harris (2017)

SCOPAC Sediment Transport Study update 2012

Offshore to onshore transport across distinct landforms at Church Norton Spit: Minor Funds Contribution 2015-2016

Coastal sediment budget project: Minor Funds Contribution 2013-2016

Seabed Mapping Selsey to Eastoke: Minor Funds Contribution 2013-2015

Sediment Tracer Study Phase II: Minor Funds Contribution 2011-2013

Non-standard Rock Groynes: Minor Funds Contribution 2011-2013

Sediment Tracer Study Phase I: Minor Funds Contribution 2010-2011

ACCESS Project 2011

Extreme Wave Conditions within the SCOPAC region 2008-2010

Strategic Regional Coastal Monitoring

RESPONSE European Project 2006-2009

RESPONSE European Project Maps

SCOPAC Sediment Transport Bibliographic Database (v6, 2012)

SCOPAC Sediment Transport Study 2004

Evolution of the Solent River animation

Evolution of Lyme Bay animation

Preparing for the Impacts of Climate Change 2001

Project Team

Dr Matthew Wadey (PM)

Tim Kermode

Sacha Neill

Samantha Cope

Project Summary

There are a number of old landfill sites across the SCOPAC region that have previously been protected from the sea, but are now eroding due to deterioration of the original protection, and are threatened by sea level rise.

Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership: £70,000 (2016-2018)

Funded by Southern RFCC and Wessex RFCC local levy (£67,000) + a contribution from LGA SiG (£3,000)

SCOPAC Contaminated Land Study

The nature of the problem is long-term as it is likely that the landfill sites contain some of the early plastics. Given that these can take hundreds of years to biodegrade, it will be necessary to continue to contain the sites for the foreseeable future, as removal is unlikely to be a feasible option.

There is therefore a need for a long-term plan that is technically feasible and affordable. The Shoreline Management Plans and Coastal Strategies form the basis of this plan, however at present, as far as protection of landfill is concerned, they are aspirational as there is no appropriate funding mechanism. Given that the landfill sites are often undeveloped, they do not qualify for Flood Defence Grant in Aid funding.

This project builds upon previous work by the East Solent Coastal Partnership (ESCP) to identify landfill sites that are at risk of erosion and flooding. The C718 CIRIA Guidance (2013) was applied to confirm the distribution of hazard, consequence and shoreline responsibilities. This investigation has been extended across local authorities in the Central Southern England SCOPAC region where it appears there are many landfill and contaminated land sites with an unclear understanding of impacts, liability, or costs involved in resolving future problems. This is a national problem and the problem will get worse as landfill contents become increasingly exposed due to degradation of defences and linings, and due to impacts of climate change such as sea level rise. Vast quantities of waste are theoretically at risk of being released (into the sea and onto nearby land) which will pollute the marine environment and pose hazards to the public and wildlife.

The project primarily aims to raise the profile of this issue, particularly the apparent lack of funding and/or strategy to deal with the problem. The scope of the project is to identify coastal landfills at risk of flooding/erosion in the region, as well as the possible funding sources. The project is engaged in communicating this issue to the coastal engineering and flood management community, as well as politicians and other decision-makers.

Key achievements so far

Next steps

Contaminated land image courtesy of ESCP

Coastal Landfills at risk of erosion and flooding across the SCOPAC region