Call for compensation over right-to-roam plans

Gerrard Winstanley office at
Tue Jul 22 22:25:25 BST 2008

So is that a call to compensate those who've been deprived of these
views for so many years? No. More welfare for the rich, what this
occupied and infiltrated government is all about.

Call for compensation over right-to-roam plans

By Paul Eccleston
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 22/07/2008

Thousands of landowners, businesses and farmers should be entitled to
compensation over the Government's right-to-roam plans for the
coastline, according to MPs.

# Coast path plan may lead to legal fight
# Path to throw open entire coastline
# Coastal path 'will wipe 20pc off beachfront property values'

Owners affected by the route of the coastal path around England should
be paid if they can prove financial loss.
Rambler - the 10 metre-wide 'coastal corridor' will cost an estimated
£50m and take 10 years to complete
The 10 metre-wide 'coastal corridor' will cost an estimated £50m and
take 10 years to complete

They should also have the right to appeal if the route of the coastal
path allows walkers on to their land.

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA) describes the
lack of a formal appeal process in the Draft Marine Bill as a
"fundamental weakness" and says it will be impossible to create a
continuous path around the coast without causing financial loss to an
owner or occupier.

It accepts the case for encouraging greater coastal access but warns
safeguards must be written in to the Bill if it is to be seen as
sensible and fair.

Plans for a 2,500-mile long pathway round the coast which everybody
will have the right to walk have been bitterly opposed by landowners,
farmers and businesses who have properties bordering the sea.

They claim it will lead to their land being invaded by walkers and
will result in a big drop in the value of their land.

Privately-owned beaches, golf courses and farms will be affected
although parks and gardens will be exempted from the proposals drawn
up by Natural England, which has responsibility for promoting access
to the coast and countryside. The 10 metre-wide 'coastal corridor'
will cost an estimated £50m and take 10 years to complete.

The EFRA committee said it was uneasy about so much emphasis on
trusting Natural England to get right the siting of the route and said
landowners were entitled to more concrete safeguards - including the
right to compensation and an independent, third-party appeal process -
if there was to be a fair balance between public and private interests.

EFRA said it was not convinced that £5m per year for 10 years would be
enough to create access to land all around England and if Natural
England got its sums wrong, either the trail would not be completed or
other projects would have to be abandoned or delayed. It called on the
Government to clarify responsibility for long-term maintenance before
the Marine Bill is introduced.

Committee Chairman Michael Jack said: "The Government must look again
at the question of appeals and compensation if this bill is to command
widespread landowners' confidence.

"Without these facilities there will be scepticism about the 'leave it
all to Natural England' approach currently at the heart of the bill.

"Long term success of the coastal pathway will not be realised unless
the Government also reviews the resources available for the measure,
especially when it comes to the question of who will pay for the
maintenance of the pathway."

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