Natural England has published formal proposals to improve public access between Filey Brigg in North Yorkshire and Newport Bridge in Middlesbrough.
If approved, this route will become part of the England Coast Path along a 111 km stretch of the North Yorkshire and Teesside coastline, taking in the North York Moors National Park and parts of the Cleveland Way National Trail.
This is the first time proposals have been published for the route in Yorkshire and the longest section of coast path to be developed so far. The first north east section of the England Coast Path was opened last April, running along 55 kilometres of coastline between North Gare in Hartlepool and South Bents in Sunderland.
Over the next 8 weeks, anyone can make representations to Natural England about the report. Owners and occupiers of affected land can make objections on specified grounds, which will be considered by a Planning Inspector before the Secretary of State makes a final decision.
All comments must be received by Natural England no later than 5pm on 21 May 2015.
The full report, forms and guidance on how to make a representation or objection is available on the Filey Brigg to Newport Bridge web page.
Copies of the report and details of how to respond can be viewed in Redcar and Cleveland House, Middlesbrough Town Hall and Central library, as well as libraries in Scarborough, Filey, Whitby and Saltburn.
Natural England’s Area Manager David Shaw said:
We have had discussions with landowners and key organisation along the proposed route; their input has been essential and helped shape the draft proposals - we thank everyone for their time and input so far. Over the next eight weeks, we are inviting all organisations, farmers, local residents, visitors and businesses to have their say. It’s important that all responses are taken into account and we look forward to hearing people’s views.
Malcolm Hodgson, National Trails Officer for the Cleveland Way which runs along much of the proposed route, said:
The England Coast Path will use part of the existing Cleveland Way National Trail and the proposals include taking the route through the urban areas of Whitby and Scarborough for the first time – a plus for businesses in those towns. It’s important though that everyone with a view on where the route should go has a chance to see the plans and submit a formal response if they wish. I’m looking forward to continuing to work with Natural England and the local authorities to help improve the route for walkers in our area.
As well as recommending new sections to the route, the report outlines improvements to existing access to the coast between Filey Brigg and Newport Bridge with proposals to:
- identify a clear and continuous way-marked walking route along this part of the coast, bringing some sections of the existing coastal footpath closer to the sea and linking some places together for the first time
- 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
- to secure legal rights of public access for the first time to the area’s beaches
The England Coast Path is the new long distance National Trail that will allow people to walk 4,500km around the whole of the English Coast.
Natural England are working to complete the route in five years and have recently published a map which shows where and when coastal access will be improved.