approve the report, with or without modifications or reject it.
5: Open – once approval is received, preparations are made on the ground and the necessary legal paperwork is completed. The new public rights come into force and works are undertaken.
There are several key points which landowners will need to consider.
Most importantly is the concept of coastal margin or “spreading room”. In principle this specifies that where the path does not run along the coastline, any and all land between the path and the coastline will be designated as “spreading room”. This effectively means that it will be considered open access for the public to enjoy as they see fit, but this does not include camping or caravanning. There are several classes of exemption to this rule, most notably for arable land and domestic gardens, but not for pasture or amenity. This makes it imperative for landowners to prevent temporary pasture from becoming permanent under the five year rule.
There will be temporary exemptions for fields containing calving cattle or bulls, but in principle the arrival of the ECP will mean that members of the public can enter non-exempted land for the purposes of enjoyment, either in conjunction with access to the coast or otherwise.
In some cases, new access routes will be created and some land may be taken for these purposes. This will not be a compulsory purchase, but rather a process of negotiation with the landowner, and no compensation will be paid. In such cases, creation, maintenance and liability for the path and its use will be met by NE and not the landowner.
Where the coast is subject to erosion, there is a new principle of “roll-back” - this means that should the path become unusable due to erosion, the path will move with the coastline, to the next most appropriate route, taking into account natural or man-made features such as housing.
Further details can be found by clicking here.