New Environment Agency boss says some areas of British coast line cannot be defended
Some parts of Britain’s coastline are so badly eroded they may simply be left to crumble into the sea, the new head of the Environment Agency has said.
Lord Smith of Finsbury told The Independent the country faced difficult choices over which areas to protect from coastal erosion and which to abandon.
He said the agency was already working to identify areas that would be most at risk over the next 50 years and called on the government to help homeowners who would lose their properties.
He said: “We are almost certainly not going to be able to defend absolutely every bit of coast. It would simply be an impossible task both in financial terms and engineering terms.
We are almost certainly not going to be able to defend absolutely every bit of coast
Lord Smith of Finsbury
“We will publish next year details of the work that’s been done, where we think the particular threats are, where we think there is current defence in place.
“We will begin to talk with communities where we think defence is not a viable option.”
Parts of north-east Norfolk and Suffolk are thought to face the greatest danger.
Lord Smith also criticised the government for failing to take the environment seriously in relation to a third runway at Heathrow, a new generation of coal-fired power stations and the Severn barrage tidal energy scheme.