On 17 October 2013 Natural England submitted a report to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs setting out our proposals for improved access to the Somerset coast between Brean Down to Minehead. The period for making formal representations and objections on our final report will last for 8 weeks and close at 5pm on Thursday 12 December 2013.
Under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, Natural England has a statutory duty to improve access to the English coast. As well as securing a long-distance route around the whole of the coast, its role is to provide improved levels of access for local residents and visitors where they can walk, rest and admire the view.
The report outlines key improvements to existing access along the coast in Somerset between Brean Down and Minehead, with proposals:
- to identify a clear and continuous walking route along this part of the coast, bringing sections of existing coastal footpath closer to the sea;
- to allow the route to ‘roll back’ if the coastline erodes or slips, solving the long-standing difficulties of maintaining a continuous route along the coast;
- and to secure statutory rights of public access to areas of beach, cliff and coastal land for the first time in places where people currently enjoy access by long tradition or with the landowners’ permission.