A proposal to improve public access along a 31-mile stretch of coast between Shoreham and Eastbourne has been put forward by Natural England.
Improved signage would help provide an easy to follow path along the coast, which would take in the iconic chalk cliffs of Seaford Head, Seven Sisters and Beachy Head, and the o-xbow lakes at Cuckmere Haven.
It would lead through the port towns of Shoreham and Newhaven, as well as using the seafront promenades at Hove and Brighton, Seaford and Eastbourne.
The proposal recommends improvements to the coastal footpath which would enable them to ‘roll back’ when erosion occurs, using a simpler and more cost-effective process, according to Natural England.
This would involve adjusting or repositioning the trail, without further approval needed by the Secretary of State, to secure a continuous route.
If approved, this will resolve the long-standing difficulties with maintaining a continuous walking route along the cliff tops of the eroding East Sussex coast, Natural England said.
There is now a period of eight weeks for legal interests and members of the public to make objections or representations to the proposals, which will be taken into account by decision makers.
Jim Seymour, Natural England’s Area Manager for East Sussex and Kent said: “We have had discussions with local residents, landowners and key organisation along the proposed route; their input has been essential and helped shape the proposals – we thank everyone for their time and input so far.
“I personally look forward to this proposed route providing a link to our wider National Trail networks along the South Downs National Park where the coastal access route will link up with the South Downs Way.
“Over the next eight weeks, we are inviting all people to have their say.
“It’s important that all responses are taken into account and we look forward to hearing people’s views.”
Anyone can make representations to Natural England about the report during the eight week period.
Owners and occupiers of affected land can make objections about the report on specified grounds, which will be considered by a Planning Inspector before the Secretary of State makes a final decision.
All representations and objections must be received by Natural England no later than midnight on Thursday 22nd November 2018.
Copies of the report can be viewed in local libraries, council offices and tourist information centres.
The new route would become part of the England Coast Path – a 2,700 mile long distance walking route and England’s newest National Trail, which is currently being developed around the entire English coast by Natural England.
It would be the second stretch of the England Coast Path to be developed in East Sussex, after a route east of Camber was opened in summer 2016.
Work on the final part of the East Sussex coastline (Eastbourne to Camber) is already underway, with its report due in spring 2019.