Coastal Access refers to the creation of a long distance path along the coast of England. The Marine and Coastal Act 2009 provided legislation to create a right of access on foot to the beach, cliff and inland route, where appropriate.
The legislation allows flexibility for current land use and for the first time, where existing paths erode into the sea, a replacement route can be quickly put in place – securing people’s right to walk and climb the coast forever.
Opening up our coastline in this way will help support local economies by creating new destinations and challenges for families and enthusiasts alike.
- Part 9 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 places a duty on Natural England and the Secretary of State to secure the coastal path.
- The Coalition’s ‘Programme for Government’ states that the provisions of the Marine and Coastal Act will be taken forward.
- The Wales coastal path is opened in May 2012 but it does not give a right of access to the beach and cliff line.
- The implementation process has slowed but the first stetch at Weymouth is now open and the other pilot areas are being implemented.
- Worryingly, the natural environment white paper, ‘The Natural Choice’, makes no reference to coastal access.
- To ask the Minister for the Natural Environment and Fisheries, Richard Benyon MP, to commit to a full implementation timetable to show that the Government is following through with the promises made in the coalition agreement.
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