Pilot Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan - Socio-Economic Baseline Review

This Socio-Economic Baseline Review provides a regional overview of the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters area for the pilot Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan. It also informs the Sustainability Appraisal for this Plan.

7 Coastal Protection and Flood Defence

7.1 Spatial Extent and Intensity of Activity and Interests

7.1.1 Coastal erosion and flooding pose a threat to people and their property in coastal locations. For generations, society has built defences to prevent erosion and protect land from flooding. Examples of these include groynes, sea walls and embankments (termed hard engineering). Present day approaches also include soft engineering such as replenishing eroding beaches with sand, referred to as beach replenishment. Also, nature is occasionally allowed to take its course through managed retreat or coastal realignment, where existing hard defences are intentionally or naturally allowed to breach so recreating natural saltmarsh. This provides a place for high tides to spread out and would be most effective in firths.

7.1.2 Currently within the PFOW both the Orkney and Highland Local Development Plans have policies that support flood avoidance. In Orkney, a Strategic Flood Risk Assessment has been undertaken that supports the identification of flood risk areas in more detail. In Highland, the Council has adopted supplementary guidance on flood risk that outlines how proposals that may be at risk of flooding, or cause flooding, will be considered. Development applications on the coast may require to be supported by a Flood Risk Assessment.

7.2 Economic value and employment

7.2.1 There is no coastal protection and flood defence activity within the PFOW area.

7.3 Historic and future trends

7.3.1 With the rise in global sea-levels and a predicted increased risk of storm surges, Scotland's coastal infrastructure and habitats may be placed under increasing threat.

7.4 Data Gaps and Limitations

7.4.1 There is no coastal protection and flood defence activity within the PFOW area.


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