Coastal Access Scheme – your comments invited

A couple walking along the coast path at Beeston Regis on the North Norfolk coast

Hikers near Beeston Regis on the Norfolk
Coast photo taken by Eastern Daily Press

Natural England (NE) which body has a statutory duty to undertake a review of the Coastal Access Scheme by March 2013, are offering an opportunity to organisations and individuals to comment on the scheme process and to take part in the review. NE would like to know what aspects of it you think have worked and will work well, and also those felt not to have done so. The comments made will be fed into their review. Then once the review is complete, and before any irreversible changes are made, a formal consultation will be held in 2013-2014.

Already concerns are being addressed on the scheme for the Weymouth area, as might be expected from those with local expert knowledge. These may seen at http://www.jlaf.org.uk/news/JLAF27%20upto%20JLAF28/Lessons%20learned%20FINAL.pdf  Other stretches of coast, e.g. the first Kent stretch between Ramsgate and Folkestone have a forthcoming public consultation due to start in October, followed by draft coastal access proposals for the first Norfolk stretch between Weybourne and Sea Palling.

Numerous concerns have already arisen in Norfolk and Suffolk over the wider impact of instituting the Coastal Path. Not least is the problem that many areas are privately owned so could lead to disputes, that vulnerable dune flood protection banks could be damaged permitting sea breakthrough, that marram fires must be guarded against, that dogs must be kept on a lead to protect crop pollution, antagonism of cattle,other livestock and ground nesting bird sites, and that parts of the route could be dangerous due to quicksands and soft cliff downfall. Also that once deeply buried WW-II military ordnance and defences are now being exposed by rapid erosion.

Although seemingly somewhat premature, it might not be a bad idea for those concerned to address their comments and proposals the intake for which run from 5th September 2012 until midnight 31st October 2012. You can either email your completed response to email hidden; JavaScript is required or mail them to:

Coastal Access Team
Natural England
First Floor
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Bristol
BS1 6EB

If you have any questions about this process, you can email them to email hidden; JavaScript is required

 PG 16/10’12

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