On 8 July 2015, Natural England submitted a report to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs setting out the proposals for improved access to the coast between Lyme Regis and Rufus Castle, Portland.
The period for making formal representations and objections about the report closed at 5pm on 2 September 2015. The report is still available to view.
Objections were forwarded for consideration by an independent inspector from the Planning Inspectorate (the ‘appointed person’). After considering these objections, the inspector was minded to determine that Natural England’s proposals do not strike a fair balance in respect to 2 objections and invited further representations on these objections.
See the notices for more details. The opportunity to submit a representation is now closed.
A public inquiry has considered the objection by Ilchester Estates. The inquiry concluded on 13 December 2016.
The planning inspector will now make a report and recommendation about the objections to the Secretary of State. She will take these into account when she decides whether to approve Natural England’s coastal access report for this stretch of the coast.
Stage 5: Open
Once the Secretary of State has approved the report, Natural England will start work with Dorset 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 come into force along the route and adjoining spreading room. This is expected to happen later in 2016.