Coastal Management (including Coast Protection)

Frequently Asked Questions for this Service

Question: What publications are available to purchase concerning landslide management and coastal erosion on the Isle of Wight?

Answer: There are various publications available including the Non technical Guide to Coastal Defence and The Undercliff of the Isle of Wight. These are available by telephoning the Coastal Visitors Centre on (01983) 855400. A comprehensive list of publications is available on the website. - Related Link

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Question: Where can I find information about ground movement on the Isle of Wight?

Answer: The Coastal Visitors Centre in Ventnor holds information about ground conditions in Ventnor and areas of Cowes. Some of this information is available to purchase in report form. Maps and a Geographical Information System are also available to view at the Centre, although appointments are generally required to view the Geographical Information System. - Related Link

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Question: Where can I access the information from the beach surveys/regional monitoring programme?

Answer: The Regional Monitoring Programme is carried out by Coastal Management in conjunction with Southampton Oceanography Centre. Information is available from the channel coast website. - Related Link

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Question: Is there a history of ground movement in this part of the Isle of Wight?

Answer: Ground movement occurs in those parts of the Isle of Wight which are affected by slope and coastal instability. Areas particularly affected include the Ventnor Undercliff, and parts of the north-east and north-west coasts of the Island. The issue of ground movement is well illustrated in a series of displays and DVDs which can be viewed continuously at the Isle of Wight Coastal Visitors' Centre at Ventnor (telephone 01983 855400). A wealth of additional information is available in the Coastal Centre technical library. For more specific enquiries, please telephone 01983 857220 or visit our website at www.coastalwight.gov.uk. - Related Link

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Question: What are the implications of climate change for the Isle of Wight?

Answer: Climate change is expected to result in a significant rise in sea levels up to 0.8m within the next eighty years. In addition, we can expect drier summers and much wetter winters.

The results of these changes are likely to lead to more regular coastal flooding, increased coastal erosion and increased ground instability. These issues are being addressed through the various coastal and landslide management strategies that have been implemented by the Council. These are described in more detail on our website www.coastalwight.gov.uk and in a range of publications, DVDs and displays that are available at the Isle of Wight Coastal Visitors' Centre at Ventnor. In particular, our publication ‘Managing ground instability in urban areas’ (price £17.00) provides a good summary of the key issues.
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Question: What services are available to schools?

Answer: The Coastal Centre runs a variety of different courses on coastal issues aimed at key stages 1 - 4 and A-Level and University groups. Details are available on the website. - Related Link

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Question: How do I find the Coastal Visitors Centre?

Answer: The Coastal Visitors Centre is situated on Dudley Road in Ventnor. A map is available on the website showing the exact location. - Related Link

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Question: Who do I contact about damage to slipways?

Answer: Slipways are inspected monthly by a member of the Coastal Management team. Queries relating to damage should be directed to Luke Ellison on (01983) 857224. Any other queries about slipways should be directed to Leisure and Amenities by telephoning (01983) 823362 - Related Link

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Question: What is the rate of coastal erosion along my frontage and when is my property or land likely to be affected?

Answer: Information on rates of coastal erosion is provided in the Isle of Wight Coast Shoreline Management Plan which is held at the Isle of Wight Coastal Visitors' Centre at Ventnor. A more detailed study of coastal erosion risk is nearing completion highlighting those areas of the Island’s coastline at risk from coastal erosion, landslip and flooding; this work is expected to be completed later in the summer.

Average rates of coastal erosion for the Island’s northern shores, where the coastline is unprotected, ranges from 0.2-0.5m per annum. Those sections of the coastline which comprise chalk clifflines erode at the rate of between 0.1 and 0.2m per annum. Weak sandstone cliffs, such as those found in Sandown Bay, can be expected to weather and retreat at a rate of approximately 0.1m per annum. The undefended south-west coast of the Island, from Blackgang to Freshwater, has a coastal erosion rate of up to 1.5m per annum at Blackgang during particularly wet and stormy winters, whilst the remaining frontages retreat at an average of 0.3-0.5m per annum. For more site specific information, please contact the Isle of Wight Centre for the Coastal Environment (telephone 01983 857220), and visit our website at www.coastalwight.gov.uk to hear about our latest research into coastal and climate change.


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Question: What landslide risk category is my property located within?

Answer: Detailed studies of landslide risk have been undertaken for the whole of the Ventnor Undercliff, extending from Luccombe in the east to Blackgang in the west. A further detailed study has been undertaken for the Cowes to Gurnard frontage. These study sites have been divided into ‘areas suitable for development’ where there are no constraints as a result of ground instability, areas where ground instability presents a ‘constraint to development’, and where a site investigation may be required before development can take place, to areas where there is a high risk of ground instability and which are ‘unsuitable for development’. Detailed maps are held at the Isle of Wight Coastal Visitors' Centre at Ventnor and in the Planning offices at Newport. Further information is contained in a number of publications including the Cowes to Gurnard Stability Study (published 2000 - £45.00), and ‘The Undercliff – A review of ground behaviour’ (£17.00); both publications can be ordered on-line.

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Question: What proposals are there for coast protection along my frontage?

Answer: A substantial investment has been made by the Council in coast protection schemes in recent years.

Further details on a range of existing and proposed coast protection schemes can be found at www.coastalwight.gov.uk.

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Question: How stable is the cliff line adjacent to my property?

Answer: A number of the cliff lines on the Isle of Wight have been subject to detailed investigation. In particular the weak sandstone cliffs in Sandown Bay extending from the southern end of Sandown Esplanade to Appley Steps at Shanklin have been examined in terms of risk arising from cliff falls which may affect cliff top and cliff base properties. For further advice, please contact the Coastal Centre on 01983 857220.

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Question: Who do I contact for information on moorings within Ventnor Haven?

Answer: Ventnor Haven is currently managed by Cheetah Marine on behalf of the Isle of Wight Council, who can be reached on telephone number 07976 009 260. - Related Link

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Question: How is the Council addressing the issues of coastal and climate change?

Answer: The Council plays a leading role at both European and UK level in terms of addressing these issues. The Isle of Wight lead a major three year study which received financial support from the EU LIFE Environment Programme, called ‘Response’ (Responding to the risks from climate change). This study has established how local authorities can most effectively prepare themselves for the risks arising from climate change. The Isle of Wight Council has signed up to the Nottingham Declaration on climate change which sets out a series of targets and objectives in order to provide the best available information and actions to safeguard the coastal environment of the Isle of Wight. More information on a wide range of coastal and climate change initiatives can be found on our website at www.coastalwight.gov.uk. - Related Link

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Question: Where can I find out about the Shoreline Management Plan?

Answer: Please click on the web link below to find out about the Shoreline Management Plan: - Related Link

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