Coastal path fears

PUBLISHED: 15:27 27 September 2006 | UPDATED: 09:56 24 May 2010

ENVIRONMENTAL chiefs have raised concerns about proposals to create a coastal footpath link from Clevedon to Weston. The Environment Agency has voiced fears about the viability of North Somerset Council's Tidal Trail plans, which would create a continuous

ENVIRONMENTAL chiefs have raised concerns about proposals to create a coastal footpath link from Clevedon to Weston.The Environment Agency has voiced fears about the viability of North Somerset Council's Tidal Trail plans, which would create a continuous coastal trail from the southern end of Clevedon to Sand Bay.The council has now commissioned a feasibility study to look at the potential of the footpath.Agency bosses have said the authority would have to gain written consent from them if work needs to be carried out within eight metres of any existing tidal flood defences.The agency has also said it is concerned that continuing work to maintain the sea defences along the coast would mean heavy machinery would have to drive over the route, posing a potential danger to walkers. It also said in the occurrence of high tides and floods, there may be overtopping of the defences, making the footpath very dangerous.In a letter to the council from the Environment Agency it said: "Any proposal that might involve the recreational use of sea walls or which could influence or be a factor in future management of coastal protection, clearly requires detailed discussion."We do not consider that the feasibility study fully considers all the aspects of these issues."The consultation for the path plans ends on Saturday and the Environment Agency is not the only organisation to urge caution.The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has said the council has failed to adequately address the wildlife and conservation issues which the footpath would have on the surrounding land.North Somerset Council spokesman Zoe Briffitt said: "We have had a tremendously positive response to our public consultation demonstrating wide public approval for the proposal."We intend to look further at the detail of this proposal as more work needs to be done.

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