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We are delighted that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is considering whether it should extend the coastal-access provisions of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 to the Isle of Wight.
The Act excludes from coastal access any island to which it is not possible to walk from the mainland at any time. However, there is a provision in the Act enabling the Secretary of State for Environment to make an order applying coastal access to specific islands. The Secretary of State must be satisfied ‘that the coast of the island is of sufficient length to enable the establishment of one or more long-distance routes along its length capable of affording the public an extensive journey on foot’. The Isle of Wight coastline is about 70 miles and the Secretary of State considers that this is sufficient to satisfy the condition.
The environment secretary wishes to consult on this first, and has issued a consultation to elicit the public’s response.