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We are backing our member, the Friends of Castle Cove Beach, in its campaign to reopen the blocked access to this lovely beach at Weymouth in Dorset.
The society has written to the Chief Executives of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and Dorset County Council expressing ‘deep concern’ about developments at the beach.
The Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 designated Castle Cove beach for public access. The access came into being on 29 June 2012, yet the only footpath to the beach was closed in March 2013 and the beach steps were removed.
In our letters we wrote: ‘The closure of the footpath leading to the beach means that this ground-breaking scheme — of giving people statutory access to the beach — has failed in Castle Cove after only nine months’ implementation.’ We have asked both chief executives what their plans are for restoring access to this much-loved spot.
Says Steve Elsworth of the Friends of Castle Cove Beach: ‘We approached the Open Spaces Society because of its expertise in these issues. We were surprised, and gratified, by how concerned the society is. It seems that Castle Cove Beach is raising issues of national importance.’
‘The cost of renovating the steps is £30,000, according to the council’s own figures. It’s not a huge amount of money to restore a much-loved asset that has been enjoyed by locals and tourists for at least four generations.’