Resource library

Slapton Line Partnership Revised Strategy 2019


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.

Looking North from Torcross along Slapton Line at high tide

Vulnerability Assessment 2018


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.

Vulnerability Assessment update 2021


Summary of observations


  • Since storm Emma in 2018, coastal erosion has reduced the seaward buffer of land (natural road protection) by 750 mm
  • 55 % of the frontage has a residual seaward buffer of less than the maximum erosion experienced during Storm Emma (10.6m)
  • 10 m of the seaward land buffer has been lost between 2012 and 2021 along the most vulnerable sections of the road
Slapton Line road damage after Storm Emma 2018

Beach Management Plan – non-technical summary 2018


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


  • Coastal processes which contribute to change in the area
  • Performance of the existing coastal defences
  • Economic benefit of future management options
  • An appraisal of options against technical, economic, environmental, and social criteria
  • A monitoring and intervention plan to sustain the A379 for the next 20 years
  • Immediate and long‐term funding and policy scenarios
  • Impacts of management options on environment designations

Beach Management Plan – main report

Appendix A – baseline scoping report

Appendix B – coastal processes baseline report

Appendix C – environmental baseline report

Appendix D – defences baseline report

Appendix E – economics baseline report

Appendix F – options appraisal report

Looking North from Torcross along the promenade and seawall on a quiet day

Slapton Line Economic Valuation – 2016


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 potential effects on local traffic – including that of residents and local service providers – if the road was lost either temporarily or permanently
  • the potential effects of the temporary or permanent loss of the road to the local visitor economy
Looking up from the foreshore at Torcross - grey slate rocks in the foreground looking towards Torcross promenade

Study of Barrier Failure – 2008


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


  1. identify the extent of seawater penetration within Slapton Leys in the event of a permanent breach of the shingle barrier
  2. identify measures to ensure the continuation of the freshwater natural features that would be lost in the event of a permanent breakdown of the shingle barrier
Slapton Ley from sea

Slapton Coastal Zone Management – summary 2006


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.

Slapton Coastal Zone Management – main report

Lush summer shingle ridge flora at Strete Sands with a view of the cliffs and sea in the background
Slapton 5 Day Weather

'living with a changing coast...