Natural England’s coastal access plan ‘unnecessary’, says CLA

23 October 2013

The CLA today (26 January) said the Government's plan to boost access along the coastal path at Dorset's Weymouth Bay is "unnecessary" because adequate access is already provided by the South West Coast Path.

The Association said Natural England's Coastal Access Weymouth Bay report, which recommends the first stretch of the All-England Coastal Path with the approval of Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Caroline Spelman MP, recreates public access that already exists.

CLA President Harry Cotterell said: "The well-used South West Coast Path already covers many miles of rights of way, so to waste a lot of time and money trying to duplicate that access is completely unnecessary."

Mr Cotterell said he was pleased the report acknowledged the concerns of some of the landowners affected by the route, but added there were still others who felt let down by the process.  

He added: "We are concerned about the extent to which the coastal margin stretches inland and believe the Government should stand by the assurances it gave in Parliament when the legislation was being debated that the margin would only affect 'coastal land', defined as the foreshore and land adjacent to the foreshore including any cliff, bank, barrier, dune, beach or flat which is adjacent to the foreshore."