CLA slams coastal access plans

The government’s coastal access plans are a breach of natural justice, the Country Land and Business Association has said.

The Marine and Coastal Access Bill – which includes plans for a continuous coastal path around England – comes before the House of Lords today (15 December) for its second reading.

CLA president Henry Aubrey-Fletcher said: “The second reading will enable the Lords to debate the broad principles of the Bill – an excellent opportunity to install an element of natural justice.

“We have here a Bill which introduces rights to go onto people’s land and property, even where it is being used for other purposes such as caravan parks, hotels or public attractions.

The CLA president added: “There are many aspects of these proposals which concern us – not just the lack of basic natural justice.

“It is also the ability to extend the right of access over large areas of land and the impact on the environment and wildlife. And without a proper mapping process and clear signs it will be hard for the public to know where to go.

“The whole process rests on the assumption that it will be carried out fairly. Regrettably, assumptions are not good enough. The Bill itself must provide the necessary re-assurance and safeguards that land and business owner’s need.”

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