Isle of Wight Coastal Defence Schemes Information Page

Closes 29 Sep 2028

Opened 27 Jan 2022


Welcome to the Isle of Wight Coastal Defence Schemes Information Page.

The Environment Agency have created this page to provide easy access to information on the schemes on the Isle of Wight. The Environment Agency will be updating this site as the schemes progress, so please keep checking for what’s new.

If you would like to be added to our mailing list to receive updates on the projects, please email us and let us know which projects you are interested in. 

Please see individual scheme pages for Frequently Asked Questions. 


The Environment Agency, in partnership with the Isle of Wight Council, is looking to refurbish existing coastal defences to reduce the impact of flood and coastal erosion events around the Isle of Wight coastline. Four priority areas have been identified through the Isle of Wight Shoreline Management Plan 2 (2010) and subsequent studies undertaken by the Isle of Wight Council. These documents tell us where it is appropriate to maintain the existing defence line, and where ageing and deteriorating defences are an issue. The four priority areas in need of initial investment are:

  • Embankment Road (Bembridge) 
  • Yaverland 
  • Shanklin
  • Ventnor

Map showing scheme locations

The Environment Agency have established that there is a case for some public investment in flood and coastal risk management infrastructure at all four priority areas. The Environment Agency have done this by submitting high level business cases (a ‘Strategic Outline Case’) for each location to its internal assurance group. For Yaverland and Shanklin, approval for these early business cases was received in summer 2021. For Ventnor and Embankment Road (Bembridge) approval was received in autumn 2021. Having validated the need for investment, the Environment Agency is now progressing to the next stage of business case development, which is to develop more detailed options for each location. 

The overarching objectives are to:

  • reduce coastal flood and erosion risk to people, property, infrastructure and designated habitat
  • build on the work already undertaken by the Isle of Wight Council in their overarching Strategy/Study*, explore the scheme choices raised and confirm and deliver a preferred Coastal Flood and Erosion Risk Management option for each priority area that is technically, economically and environmentally sound, affordable now and in the future, and is adaptable to changes in future climate
  • investigate and incorporate, where feasible, wider Isle of Wight Council initiatives, such as regeneration and tourism objectives and deliver broader outcomes, maximising the opportunities presented by Partnership Funding
  • investigate and incorporate, where feasible, measures to contribute to the Environment Agency’s 5 Year Action Plan (EA2025) to improve the natural environment
  • provide an investment structure to enable partner organisations to commit to funding contributions for delivery of the schemes.

* The linked Strategy/Studies are:

Isle of Wight Shoreline Management Plan 2, 2010

Eastern Yar flood and erosion management strategy; December 2010

The Isle of Wight Council has undertaken further studies on the Sandown Bay and Ventnor frontages which have identified the priority scheme locations and contributed to the early business case stages.

More Information

These areas have ageing and deteriorating defences which are nearing the end of their useful life. Some of the structures were built in the early 1900s and are exposed to high wind and wave energy. If defences were to fail, there would be significant risks to people, property and the environment. The predicted effects of climate change will increase this risk further over the next century; sea levels are expected to rise over 1 metre along the south coast in the next 100 years. Future public investment in coastal and flood defences has to be rationalised and prioritised in key areas.

More Information

The Environment Agency estimate that the priority projects will reduce the risk of flooding and/or coastal erosion to 3017 homes, 759 non-residential properties, transport infrastructure and utilities, as well as over 300 hectares of protected habitat over the next 30 to 40 years. These figures will be refined as more detailed assessments are made, and work with stakeholders to select from the number of options that the Environment Agency have identified. These figures do, however, highlight the potential consequences of doing nothing.

More Information

On behalf of the UK government, the Environment Agency prioritises and allocates funding to flood and coastal erosion risk management schemes using a partnership funding approach. Securing funding is dependent on the scale of benefits and outcomes delivered by a scheme. if the government funding for which the schemes are eligible does not cover all the costs, additional money will need to be raised through contributions.
More information on how partnership funding works can be found here
Current estimates suggest that all four projects together will be eligible for £51 million of government Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Grant in Aid, based on the benefits that the schemes will bring. Work to date suggests that some of the schemes will cost more than the maximum government funding for which they are eligible. Several million pounds will need to be found in savings or contributions to deliver the schemes. However, actual costs are very much dependent upon further investigation at the next stage to confirm the required works.
Work has already started to identify additional potential contributions and other sources of funding that could be utilised, including that specifically available for protecting designated habitat. Isle of Wight Council have also set aside several million pounds towards the priority schemes.
Funding contributions from other sources such as local levy (raised by the Regional Flood and Coastal Committees), private or public organisations or the community may also be required to deliver a scheme.

More Information

Securing national funding for flood and coastal risk projects follows a rigorous process of investigation, which occurs in several stages. Approval of the initial Strategic Outline Cases means the Environment  Agency can now access funding to prepare Outline Business Cases (OBCs) for each of the priority projects. The 'OBCs' will identify a preferred option for each location with agreement from important stakeholders and partners, and set out the technical, economic and environmental justification for the chosen options. If approved, this will be followed by Full Business Cases which will complete the detailed planning and design of the projects and establish firm costs. Timelines can be found on each project page.

More Information

The Environment Agency is working in partnership with Isle of Wight Council, supported by JBA Consulting and VolkerStevin. Partnership working will ensure that local issues, priorities and broader outcomes are fully considered and incorporated into our planning. The Environment Agency will also be consulting with stakeholders at regular intervals to ensure that it understands what the community and users of the coastline value about it, what concerns they have regarding its future, and can help shape what the projects will look like.
Throughout this project there will be numerous opportunities for you to feed into its development, either through formal engagement events or via one of the communication channels below. The Environment Agency will continue to update you and provide ongoing opportunities to seek your input and opinions.
The Environment Agency would encourage all interested parties in the area and neighbouring communities to sign up to updates by registering your interest at The Environment Agency would also encourage you to support any family members, friends or neighbours who cannot access online information, by sharing our updates with them.

More Information

In addition to the work above, the Environment Agency completed a £6 million scheme in 2019 to reduce the risk of flooding from the Monktonmead Brook in Ryde. 
Work is also underway to seek reduction in tidal flood risk for communities in East Cowes and Cowes.

Be prepared for flooding

Please continue to be prepared and resilient towards flooding by signing up to receive advanced warnings of flooding. Register by calling Floodline 0345 988 1188, or visiting If you are already registered to the Floodline Warning Service, please check if your details need updating by visiting

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Get in touch

Thank you for visiting our project page.

Please contact us:

By email:

By post: Environment Agency, Romsey Office, Canal Walk, Romsey, SO51 8DU

By phone: 03708 506 506


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