There are a number of old landfill sites across the SCOPAC region that have previously
been protected from the sea, but are now eroding due to deterioration of the original
protection, and are threatened by sea level rise.
The nature of the problem is long-term as it is likely that the landfill sites contain
some of the early plastics. Given that these can take hundreds of years to biodegrade,
it will be necessary to continue to contain the sites for the foreseeable future,
as removal is unlikely to be a feasible option.
There is therefore a need for a long-term plan that is technically feasible and affordable.
The Shoreline Management Plans and Coastal Strategies form the basis of this plan,
however at present, as far as protection of landfill is concerned, they are aspirational
as there is no appropriate funding mechanism. Given that the landfill sites are often
undeveloped, they do not qualify for Flood Defence Grant in Aid funding.
Possible funding streams for protecting the sites are being explored, with the main
aim of the study being to raise the profile of the issue to the politicians.
This SCOPAC study is working in parallel with the NERC Contaminated Land study led
by the University of Southampton, which is investigating the practicalities of moving
or defending landfill in the face of climate change.