Coastal law, particularly as it relates to ownership and usage, is extremely complex. There is no area defined as the coastal zone which is treated by law as an integrated whole. Regulatory controls, many of which are recent in origin, have developed fragmentarily under the pressure of different and competing interests and public bodies. A detailed treatment is outside the scope of this Handbook.
Since this chapter was written, the UK Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 and the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 have come into force. Direct reference should be made to the relevant Act to confirm detail. Professional legal advice should be sought in any ambiguous or disputed case.