Shanklin Coastal Defence Scheme Information Page

Closes 29 Sep 2028

Opened 27 Jan 2022


Welcome to the Shanklin Coastal Defence Scheme Information Page.

The Environment Agency have created this page to provide easy access to information on the Shanklin project, one of four priority coastal defence projects on the Isle of Wight. The Environment Agency will be updating this site as the project progresses, so please keep checking for what’s new.

If you would like to be added to our mailing list to receive updates on this project or any other of the Isle of Wight coastal defence projects, please email us and let us know which projects you are interested in. 

For information about other coastal defence projects on the Isle of Wight see here.

Latest Update 12 December 2022

Our latest newsletter is available here

To help us assess the possible options for sea wall and groyne refurbishment, we need to deepen our understanding of the ground conditions and underground structures, including the foundations of the existing sea defences. To do this, we will need to undertake a series of below ground explorations ranging from the digging of excavation pits to the use of drilling rigs for taking boreholes. Please note that this work is scheduled to begin at the end of January 2023.  Further details can be found here

Update 7 November 2022

We sought views on how the coastal frontage along Shanklin Esplanade is used, what is most valued about it, and the perceptions amongst stakeholders of flood and coastal erosion risks both now and in the future. This will help to inform how we engage with stakeholders going forward, and capture any concerns, ideas and opportunities in the shortlist of options that we present to the public in Summer 2023.

We received 44 responses in total. 31 responses were made via the Shanklin Coastal Defence Scheme Citizen Space webpage; the remaining 13 were made via hard copy versions held at Shanklin Library. 

The information obtained from the Shanklin Coastal Defence Scheme public realm questionnaire will be used to support the confirmation of a short list of options that could be used to reduce the risk of coastal erosion to the sea wall in Shanklin. These will be presented to the public in June/July 2023, when individuals, businesses, community groups and organisations will be invited to offer their views on the options. We will also be using the responses to plan the format, content and timing of our future engagement and communication activities.

Individuals who wish to follow up their responses, or points made within this document, in more detail are welcome to contact us at

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A copy of the response summary can be found here


The Environment Agency in partnership with the Isle of Wight Council, with expert support from JBA Consulting and VolkerStevin, are exploring a sustainable future for the coastal frontage at Shanklin Esplanade, located on the eastern coast of the Isle of Wight.

The Shanklin frontage is identified as defence unit IW27 in the 2010 Isle of Wight Shoreline Management Plan 2 (SMP2). The policy for this unit is hold the line.

The scheme will cover approximately 900 metres of coastal frontage from the large concrete Hope Groyne at the northern end of the Shanklin Esplanade to Shanklin Chine wooded coastal ravine and nature reserve in the south. Area denoted by red line in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1

The Shanklin project aims to investigate how best to respond to the challenges facing the Shanklin Esplanade coastal frontage, thereby protecting the community and preserving the area’s tourism and heritage value. Options being considered involve capital works, which may include refurbishment and repair of the existing defences. Additionally, the project will explore longer term flood and erosion management solutions which protect and enhance the seafront for future generations and provide a platform for regeneration.

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Coastlines are naturally dynamic environments and change is a common occurrence. The Shanklin Esplanade community is built out in front of the former sea cliffs at the back of the Esplanade, and is vulnerable to erosion.  Management of this risk will become increasingly challenging as sea levels rise in response to climatic changes.  

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The condition of the existing seawall, which is over 100 years old, and groyne structures protecting the Esplanade varies. Some sections are expected to offer sufficient protection for many years to come, whilst other sections are in need of immediate repair.
Northern (left) and Southern (right) seawall showing historic deterioration
If no action is taken to prevent further deterioration, the risk of asset failure increases. In the short term, this will result in damage to the Esplanade highway (including services). Vehicular access to the seafront would become impossible if the only access road is lost, preventing access to the majority of properties on the frontage and resulting in the closure of Hope Car Park and others in the area. The Environment Agency anciptates that an initial scheme would benefit 121 properties by reducing the risk that access to these properties would be lost through coastal erosion. In the longer term, there could be direct property loss and an acceleration of coastal erosion towards the town. The risk of future wave overtopping also requires further consideration.

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On behalf of the UK government, the Environment Agency prioritise and allocate funding to flood and coastal erosion risk management schemes using a partnership funding approach. Securing national funding is dependent on the scale of benefits and outcomes delivered by a scheme and, if required, additional funding contributions may be required from other sources such as local levy (raised by the Regional Flood and Coastal Committees), private or public organisations, the local community or developers. Anyone who benefits from a scheme may be asked to contribute towards its funding. The Isle of Wight Council is also making a funding contribution towards the current schemes.

More information on how partnership funding works can be found here

Current estimates suggest the Shanklin scheme would be eligible for £2.6 million of government Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Grant in Aid funding. Early, high level estimates indicate the cost of a refurbishment scheme would be in excess of this, and that several million pounds would need to be found, or savings made, to enable the project to proceed. Actual partnership funding requirements are very much dependent upon further investigation to confirm the required costs but the Environment Agency is already considering other potential sources of funding to supplement available government funding.

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No decisions have yet been made about how best to address the erosion and flood risks in this area. Since September 2020, the Environment Agency and delivery partners have been gathering information and putting a case together for public investment in flood and coastal risk management infrastructure improvements. The Environment Agency have done this by submitting a high level business case (a ‘Strategic Outline Case’) to its internal assurance group.
Approval was received in summer 2021, which justifies funding for the next stage of business case development. This is the ‘Outline Business Case’ stage, which began in winter 2021. The 'Outline Business Case' will develop more detailed options for improving the defences, and the Environment Agency will undertake flood modelling and other technical assessments and investigations to help us make decisions.

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The project is still in its early stages and the Environment Agency have identified a wide range of options to reduce the existing risk of flooding and coastal erosion. The Environment Agency will need your thoughts and ideas to supplement its technical assessments, to develop these options.
This will take time, but the Environment Agency will increase its engagement activities in the coming months as the Environment Agency introduces the project, shares initial findings, and gathers views on what is valued about the coastline as well as any concerns about its future.
Throughout this project there will be numerous opportunities for you to feed into its development and would encourage you to do so. 

Frequently asked questions can be viewed here.

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By phone: 03708 506 506


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