Proposals for public access along coastline published
Natural England has published its formal proposals to improve public access along a 90km stretch of coast in Somerset between Brean Down and Minehead.
Among other changes it will secure legal rights to public access to beaches for the first time.
But critics, including the Country Land and Business Association, say the scheme is expensive, unnecessary and will blight property.
Legal interests and members of the public now have eight weeks to make objections or representations that the secretary of state must take into account when considering whether to approve the proposals.
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If approved, the route will become part of the England Coast Path.
The route skirts the Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and includes spectacular sea views over the Bristol Channel.
It is the result of lengthy discussions with landowners and other interested parties, and is also designed to integrate with other major projects in the area – including the Environment Agency's project to create more than 400 hectares of new wetland habitat at Steart.
It has been designed to take account of the planned new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point. Existing pathways are incorporated where possible.
Objections will be considered by a Planning Inspector before the secretary of state makes a final decision.
All representations and objections must be received by Natural England by 5pm on December 12 . For details, visit www.naturalengland.org.uk/coastalaccess