Ministers made the U-turn this week after the DCLG was revealed to be considering a change of tack last month (Planning, 19 October, p1).
Previously, they had rejected guidance on coastal towns from the Commons communities and local government committee.
In its second response to the committee's report, the DCLG has agreed to set up a working group to look at policy themes and map out a framework to tackle issues affecting coastal towns.
The coastal town network will be managed by the South East England Development Agency, in recognition of its lead role in disseminating best practice on coastal town regeneration among regional development agencies.
Membership will include central and local government and national agencies such as English Heritage and the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.
Committee chairwoman Phyllis Starkey welcomed the move. "Government departments need to work together to tackle the issues faced by coastal communities," she said.
The government has also commissioned a review of evidence about the decline of coastal towns from Stephen Fothergill as part of a regeneration framework.
Coastal Towns: The Government's Second Response is available at PlanningResource.co.uk/doc.