Open access to coastal areas will be the next step in the government’s drive to confiscate land, according to the Country Land and Business Association.

The board of the Countryside Agency recently approved proposals for open access to coastal areas, although it required some amendments to the plans before submitting them to government, said John Mortimer, south-west director of the CLA.

“We believed we were making progress with junior DEFRA minister Jim Knight and were very disappointed he got moved,” he said.

Now, he expects the plan to be recommended to government and revealed at the launch of Natural England on 1 October.

“There are two key areas of harm that open access will cause – damage to wildlife and damage to coastal businesses.

There will not be any compensation for loss of earnings or capital value – this is confiscation, plain and simple.”