In 2023 the Slapton Line Partnership commenced a refresh of the October 2019 policy. This document incorporates the items agreed by the partnership on 3rd November 2023. A separate and more detailed health check of individual sections is also currently underway.
The policy still recommends that we have entered a phase of life of the A379 road along Slapton Line where further retreat should not take place and that an Adaptation Plan needs to be developed in consultation with the community, communicated and enacted. The revised policy does however acknowledge that the maintenance of coastal defences will still be required to maintain resilience of the road until a point when triggers (to be agreed) are met that require the road, or sections of the road, to be closed. The policy incorporates a number of additional studies that have taken place since 2019 to support this refresh.
Over recent years a succession of significant and damaging storm events along the Slapton Line culminating in Storm Emma in March 2018 have appeared to accelerate coastal change beyond previously predicted, necessitating a reappraisal of the current management strategy.
As a result of the changes, the conclusion is that there is now minimal space available to retreat the road in a significant number of locations, which was the main approach to address coastal erosion in the previous strategy. Further engineering works to retreat the road would now be likely to have a short life and unlikely to attract funding. It would also potentially put the works required in direct conflict with the area’s environmental designations.
This document recommends that we are now entering a phase of life of the A379 road along Slapton Line where further retreat should not take place.
In 2023 a new Vulnerability Assessment was commissioned that built on previous assessments of the A379 Slapton Line Road undertaken by the University of Plymouth. This provided an up to date assessment of the vulnerability of the road to beach erosion during storms.
Summary of observations
Summary of observations
This report demonstrates the vulnerability of the A379 road, along Slapton Sands Beach, to storm damage in the immediate future (post Storm Emma in 2018). The report presents cross-shore profiles along the entire length of the Slapton Line road to provide information on road vulnerability to storms impacts equivalent to that of Emma in 2018, and the space available to retreat the road if road damaging events were to happen again.
Storm Emma significantly reduced the distance between the Slapton Line road and the residual seaward buffer, which would otherwise provide natural protection for the road. The primary conclusions drawn are that there are multiple areas along the road that would be damaged if another storm Emma equivalent were to occur, and further locations where there is no space for landward retreat of the road.
An Economics Study was undertaken by Hardisty Jones in 2023. The purpose of this study was to identify the wider economic impact of the Slapton Line now and in the future, taking into account of the views of local stakeholders. This will better inform further discussions about investment in the maintenance of the road, and may be used to support future funding bids.
This report presents findings that quantify the economic contribution of the Slapton Line road. In particular, two aspects of the road’s contribution are considered:
The purpose of the Beach Management Plan 2018 to identify management activities that could be undertaken to reduce the flood and coastal erosion risk on Slapton Line and Torcross over the next 20 years, whilst recognising and managing associated environmental and amenity implications.
The Beach Management Plan provides information on
The research project explored the interaction between Start Bay and Slapton Ley in the event of a major breach of the barrier. The project had two primary aims
This study provided a comprehensive evaluation of the issues relating to coastal processes at Slapton Sands to establish a robust long-term coastal zone management strategy for the area in response to major erosion and road damaging events.