On 25 July 2016, Natural England submitted a report to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs setting out the proposals for improved access to the coast between Gretna and Allonby, Cumbria.
The period for making representations and objections about the report closed at 5pm on 19 September 2016. The report is still available to view.
The objections were forwarded for consideration by an independent planning inspector from the Planning Inspectorate, appointed by the Secretary of State (‘the appointed person’).
The inspector invited further representations on 9 objections because they were minded to determine that Natural England’s proposals relating to these objections fail to strike a fair balance.
See the notices for more details. The opportunity to submit a representation is now closed.
The inspector decided to hold a hearing to explore some of the issues in more detail. This was held in December 2017.
The inspector will make recommendations to the Secretary of State in respect of these objections after the consideration of any further representations received.
The Secretary of State will then consider all the representations and objections before making a decision about Natural England’s report.
Stage 5: Open
Once the Secretary of State has approved the report, Natural England will start work with Cumbria 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. Work is expected to take a considerable time, given the length and complexity of the stretch.