Published on: 13 January 2021
Following a meeting in December between marina operators that represent 50 coastal and estuarial facilities, British Marine has written to both Natural England and Ordnance Survey requesting an urgent review into the way in which the England Coast Path (ECP) impacts marine businesses in the 'Coastal Margin'.
British Marine believes that the prospect of perpetual public access to private land within the coastal margin will negatively impact landowners by restricting the potential for future diversification and redevelopment, increasing security costs as well as potentially reducing the future land value of a site.
We have therefore requested that Natural England and the Planning Inspectorate share all relevant information and communications with British Marine and the group of marina operators to ensure a level playing field and consistent approach to their own individual objections to Natural England proposals.
In addition to this, British Marine has also written to Ordnance Survey to seek an urgent review of how the coastal margin and its 'magenta wash' is depicted on their maps.
Currently, Ordnance Survey maps apply the magenta wash to depict the coastal margin without taking into account excepted land or land which should otherwise be excluded from the coastal margin.
Ordnance Survey map legends state that 'All land within the 'coastal margin'
(where it already exists) is associated with the England Coast Path and is by default access land . . .'
. Although it goes on to attempt to explain that not all land within the wash is subject to access rights.
British Marine does not believe that this explanation is clear, or that the legend is likely to be read by people accessing the map on mobile devices. The position is complicated further by the fact that coastal margin (land between the route of the ECP and the coast) does not necessarily include land between the ECP and an estuary.
British Marine recognises that when the concept of the ECP and subsequently the coastal margin was first envisaged, it was not possible for the relevant GIS map layers to be developed to 'cut out' excepted land from the magenta wash, however, there should be no reason, now, why such land, be it residential or commercial, should not be automatically excluded from the magenta wash.
The coastal margin gives the misleading impression to members of the public that any land in the coastal margin (as depicted by the magenta wash) is freely accessible. This approach may cause significant inconvenience and financial harm to many of our members who, by no fault of their own, fall within it.
If you have been affected by the ECP or are concerned about the possible impacts of the coastal margin on your premises, British Marine members should contact Brian Clark
, Head of Public Affairs, Policy and Research at British Marine.