4.4 Consultation

There are a variety of parties with interests in the coastal zone, all of whom may wish to have a say in the management of dune erosion. Some are Statutory Consultees who must be approached prior to scheme implementation (Section 3), while others can be consulted voluntarily. Identification of those relevant to a specific site, followed by consultation, may lead to a better understanding of the processes ad risks as well as to a consensus view on the most appropriate management actions. Potential consultees include:

Each of these consultees may have a different perception of the value of the beach-dune system and therefore see erosion management as serving a different purpose. By bringing them together and explaining the background issues and the potential solutions a useful consensus may be built. Undertaking voluntary consultation early in the planning stage may well avoid later conflicts with Statutory Consultees or, in extreme cases, the costs of Public Enquiries. Where public funding of a scheme is not available, consultation may lead to opportunities to share costs or obtain other management resources (volunteer labour, materials, access rights). Figure 5.1 presents a flow diagram of the management process, putting the various phases into a logical sequence.