Part 9 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 gives the Secretary of State and Natural England a duty to secure a long distance walking trail around the coast of England and to provide public access to a wider margin of coastal land for open air recreation.
The Secretary of State has approved Natural England’s proposals for the first stretch of the English Coast Path at Weymouth Bay. Natural England is preparing draft proposals for consultation for the next 5 stretches of coast in Durham, Norfolk, Kent, Somerset and Cumbria.
Whilst anyone can make a representation about proposals in a report, only persons specified in the legislation can make an objection. All objections received by Natural England will be forwarded to Defra, who will refer each objection to us. An Inspector will decide if the objection is admissible. If the objection is deemed admissible the Inspector will then go onto consider the substance of the objection itself.
The Inspector must determine whether the proposals set out in the report fail, in the respects specified in the objection, to strike a fair balance. Where the Inspector is minded to conclude that the proposals fail to strike a fair balance he must publish a notice with details of the objection along with Natural England’s comments on the objection.
Please see the Appointed Person's report on coastal access relating to Cumbria: Allonby to Whitehaven. The Secretary of State's decision upon this report can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coastal-access-section-52-notice-for-cumbria-allonby-to-whitehaven