Natural England has begun to investigate how to improve coastal access along a 78 km stretch of the Hampshire and West Sussex coast between Hayling Island and East Head.
Officers from local access authorities 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 3 October 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 South Hayling and East Head.
Anyone can comment on the proposals (make a representation). Landowners and occupiers can make an objection.
Representations and objections must reach Natural England by midnight, Thursday 28 November 2019.
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 Hampshire County Council and the relevant authority in consultation with West Sussex 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.