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Coastal access proposals: removal of rights with no compensation
20/06/07

"We want more people to enjoy our coast but we fear that this consultation will end up being about taking rights without compensation and nothing more," said David Fursdon, President of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) in response to the public consultation on proposals to improve access to the English coast published today by DEFRA (Tuesday 19 June).

farmland

"The Secretary of State has stated that, 'land, even private land, is a public good and we should assert our right to enjoy it', but the question is where does this begin and end? What is concerning is that the Government has a "presumption against paying compensation" where public rights are asserted over individual rights. What's to stop this precedent being extended to the building of new roads or airport runways? What's to stop the Government from putting forward the argument that we have a 'natural birthright' to walk across each others back gardens without compensation? This is a very dangerous precedent to set for all householders in England: it shifts the balance from the protection of the individual to the power of the State.

"Quite often there are very good reasons why access to certain areas of the coast is restricted such as nature conservation, safety or business and if a new right of access takes these into consideration then we will not see a vast increase in the amount of coastal access that is available – after all 70% of the coast is already accessible.

"Surely the common sense approach of creating local solutions to local access problems which provide sensible, usable access for the public is the way to go," concluded Mr Fursdon

link Traditional landscapes are changing says Natural England
link CLA Secures Grant to Help Land Managers Combat Climate Change
link Who Will Pay For The Countryside?

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