Natural England has begun to investigate how to improve coastal access along a 80 km stretch of the Severn Estuary between Aust and Brean Down.
Officers from South Gloucestershire, Bristol, North Somerset and Somerset are providing Natural England with expert local advice and helping to make sure there is full consultation with local interests during the development of the route.
On 25 July 2019, Natural England submitted a collection of reports to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs setting out the proposals for improved access to the coast between Aust and Brean Down.
The period for making representations and objections about the reports closed at midnight, Thursday 19 September 2019. The reports are still available to view.
Objections are forwarded for consideration by an independent planning inspector appointed by the Secretary of State. The inspector will make recommendations to the Secretary of State in respect of each one.
Natural England may not make any further changes to the reports as a result of the representations and objections, but will make comments about them for consideration by the Secretary of State and, in the case of objections, the appointed person (an inspector from the Planning Inspectorate).
The Secretary of State will consider all the representations and objections before making a decision about Natural England’s reports.
Stage 5: Open
Once the Secretary of State has approved the reports, Natural England will start work with South Gloucestershire, Bristol, North Somerset Council and Somerset County Council on preparing the route for public use.
The first step will be to contact owners and occupiers of the affected land to discuss the design and location of any new infrastructure which is required such as signs and gates.
When preparations are complete, new access rights will be brought into force along the route and adjoining spreading room.