DEP published the first Deben Estuary Plan in April 2015, which primarily considered the issue of flood risk management, but also provided an integrated approach to the management of the broader estuary valley and coastal zone. This was approved by the Environment Agency and (with the Suffolk Coastal Local Plan) has been accepted as Planning Guidance by the relevant planning authorities.
The Deben Estuary Plan represents an awareness that the effectiveness of any management strategy relies upon a willingness to embrace the principle of an integrated system. For the Deben estuary, this involves recognition of the need to reconcile the continued wellbeing of the river, valley, estuary, and coast, the interests of the communities for whom it has a core value, and the ecological integrity of this unique estuarine environment. The full Deben Estuary Plan can be accessed as a single file here.