The decision ignores the findings of Parliamentary committees and has been criticised as “an affront to human and property rights”.

Despite recommendation by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) committee that landowners and farmers be given a right to appeal if the coastal route crosses their land and be offered financial compensation if the paths cause financial loss, ministers said it was not feasible to allow individual rights of appeal.

The government report stated that landowners will be consulted on the route of the path by Natural England (NE) and safeguards are already in place to protect privacy and property.

Andrew Shirley, national access adviser for the Country Land & Business Association (CLA), told Shooting Times the government has turned its back on the pre-legislative process that it had requested: “It has rejected most of the findings made by EFRA and the joint committee. It has denied the request of a right of appeal, despite EFRA describing the lack of one as a ‘fundamental weakness’. It is also surprising the government has now ruled out the possibility of compensation.”

The rest of this article appears in 2 October issue of Shooting Times.

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