European policy consultants
Rural development and renewable energy

Natural England review of Coastal Access

NFU has called for 'spreading room' on the landward side to the coastal path to be agreed with the landowner and manager to fit in with their business needs, and not ‘automatically’ designated up to the nearest boundary.

The scheme was aopened in 2010, under Part 9 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. The Act places a duty on Natural England to improve access to the English coast through creation of a continuous long-distance walking route around the coast, together with a margin of accessible land along it.

The Scheme sets out the key principles on which Natural England will base their access proposals at the local level, and how these principles will be applied in the main coastal scenarios. It sets out examples of how this might work in a range of coastal situations.

If you own land on the coast or estuarine shores, the Act and the way it is implemented could have significant impact on the way you will be able to manage it in the future.

We would urge you to respond to this informal consultation on the scheme and its procedures, even though there will be a further more formal consultation in 2013.

Eurinco can help you to put together your response, to influence Natural England so as to ensure the implementation of the scheme takes full account of its practical implementation on businesses like yours.

We will draw on extensive experience of implementing the Government's previous access schemes, such as access to open country under the CROW Act, together with experience of working with Natural England and its predecessor bodies at the highest levels.

To respond directly to Natural England, see www.naturalengland.org.uk

Or contact Peter Fane at Eurinco for advice and assistance in ensuring that the scheme takes account of your early experience.

This consultation covers unrecorded rights of way; improvements to public path orders; charging for applications for path diversions/ extinguishments and alignment of the public path diversion process with that of planning permission.

The NFU response has called for the rights of way application process to be streamlined and made fairer for landowners. It wants to see the implementation of the 2026 cut-off date for new applications for historic rights of way, as part of a proposed package of improvements which will bring to an end the uncertainty for landowners created by historic rights of way applications. They point out that at present an application can take many years to reach a final decision with some cases taking more than 10 years to determine.