Coastal Access - England
The CLA works with its members to help those with land affected by the new public right to marine and coastal access so they can reach a fair balance which also reflects their needs.
Read coverage in The Sunday Times of the CLA's work on coastal access and the experiences of some of those affected. (Posted: 11 May 2010)
A new coastal path around England is now being created under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. There is no timescale for the completion of this work.
The path may be up to four metres wide. There will also be a coastal margin, or "spreading area" for the public to enjoy.
The spreading room will usually extend seawards, allowing unfettered access to cliffs, dunes, mudflats, saltmarsh, beaches and the sea.
The trail should normally be located on stable ground as close to the coast as possible.
The coastal access scheme is now in place. See the details on Natural England's website.
Natural England is now in the process of "rolling out" coastal access in Dorset, Somerset, Kent, Norfolk, Cumbria and North Eastern England. The first section of the new coastal access rights, between Portland and Lulworth on the Dorset coast, opened on 29 June 2012.
Natural England will issue for consultation draft and then final maps for each section of coast. Guidance is available to members who wish to make representations or objections about any coastal access proposals.
Advice for members affected by the scheme is available below.
Natural England's Coastal Access Scheme is to be reviewed in 2013. The Scheme sets out the way in which Natural England will implement the new coastal access rights. Following a review of the implementation process along the first section of coast at Weymouth Bay, Defra issued a Lessons Learned report which recommended a number of changes be made. Natural England's Coastal Access Scheme will need to be changed to take account of those recommendations.
CLA welcomed the Lessons Learned report. Its key recommendations include:
Need for New Coastal Access Rights
CLA has always questioned the need for the new coastal access rights. Natural England's own audit of existing coastal access took a very constrained view of public access, and even ignored parts of existing coastal access routes and public rights of way.
CLA Deputy President Harry Cotterell said: "It also ignores the many other ways in which people are entitled to walk along the coast, such as under the right of access introduced by the CROW Act, or because the landowner has given permission.
These areas are also accessible to walkers. It seems strange and misleading for Natural England not to take them into account." (5 April 2010)
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