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Coastal Areas: Access

Volume 468: debated on Wednesday 28 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many responses he has received to his consultation document on access to coastal areas; what assessment he has made of such responses; and if he will make a statement. (167516)

[holding answer 26 November 2007]: We received 749 responses to the coastal access consultation from a wide range of organisations and individuals, including 324 which were prompted by a campaign from the Ramblers’ Association in support of Natural England s recommended approach that new legislation was the best way forward for improving coastal access.

Analysis of the responses began before the consultation closed on 11 September. From the analysis we concluded that the overall weight of the responses was in support of Natural England’s recommendation and we have announced our intention to introduce legislation to provide a right to walk around the English coast.

We will publish a report shortly setting out an analysis of the detail of the responses to the consultation document.