The government’s nature conservation and access body Natural England has produced a report for DEFRA setting out proposals for improved access to the coast passing through The Living Coast UNESCO Biosphere between Shoreham-by-Sea and Eastbourne.
These proposals form part of a programme to establish a continuous walking route around England’s coastline (as set out in the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009).
The proposals would make the following key improvements to the existing arrangements for access to this part of the coast:
- New sections of coastal path would be created in strategic places to link existing coastal paths into a continuous route along this stretch of coast;
- For the first time, there would be secure statutory rights of public access to most areas of beach, cliff and other coastal land on this stretch of coast;
- The coastal path would be able to ‘roll back’ as the cliffs erode or slip, solving longstanding difficulties with maintaining a continuous route on this stretch of coast.
This is a significant opportunity to improve public access to this stretch of coast in these ways, with benefits for residents, businesses and visitors.
Once approved and established, this part of the England Coast Path will be managed as part of the family of National Trails.
Natural England are inviting anyone with an interest to make a ‘representation’ to the Secretary of State about these proposals, whereas only owners, tenants or occupiers of affected land may make an ‘objection’.
All comments about the report must be received by Natural England by Thursday 22nd November 2018.
The coastal access webpage for this stretch of coast provides all the information you need on their proposals, including:
• The Overview report and 4 chapters with accompanying maps
• The forms that must be used for making a representation or an objection
• Guidance notes to help you complete the form(s).
The Secretary of State will make a decision about the report when all representations and objections have been considered. Establishment of the new access arrangements will not begin until that decision is made, provisionally in 2019.