Norfolk Coast Partnership aims to answer questions facing Norfolk’s shoreline

Cley marshes. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Cley marshes. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Key questions facing the businesses, visitors and wildlife of the Norfolk coast in the coming years will be tackled as part of a wide-ranging new consultation.

The review of the draft five-year management plan for the Norfolk Coast area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) is now underway and people can contribute their ideas and opinions until April 17.

The Norfolk Coast Partnership has prepared the document on behalf of local authorities, and the review which has produced the draft plan for 2009-14 has involved representatives from partners and community organisations.

Among the fundamental questions which the consultation will seek to answer is whether climate change and rising sea levels will destroy the special qualities of the Norfolk coast.

It will also ask how agriculture and tourism should be managed, and whether it is possible to balance natural beauty with economic development.


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Norfolk Coast Partnership manager Tim Venes said: 'In many ways there's a lot of continuity with the previous plan but there's also been some significant changes in the last five years to take into account.

'For example we have better information on climate change, although there's still uncertainty about detailed impacts and timescales.

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'Changes in legislation and the emphasis on economic growth are more important factors now. A difficult financial period for public bodies and new agri-environment provisions under a revised Common Agricultural Policy also have implications. It's a more complex picture than ever for this nationally and internationally important area.'

The Norfolk Coast was designated an AONB in 1968. The 450 sq km area includes a coastal strip from Heacham to Bacton, plus outlying areas around Sandringham and between Sea Palling and Winterton. It is one of 41 AONBs in England and Wales.

Mr Venes said: 'We know that the Norfolk Coast means so much to so many - to those who work, visit and live in the area, who appreciate what a special place it is. We're keen to hear views on the draft plan from anyone with an interest, which will help to make the final plan more successful. There's a quick questionnaire version of the consultation as well as an opportunity for more in-depth comment.'

To find the draft plan and information on how to register your comments, see the Norfolk Coast Partnership web site at www.norfolkcoastaonb.org.uk.

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