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Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009

Section 300: The English coast

746.The coastal access duty (section 296) relates to the English coast. This section defines the English coast, for the purposes of this Part of the Act, by reference to its adjacency to the sea. It provides that the coast includes the coast of islands unless they are excluded.

747.Subsection (2) explains what an excluded island is. It says that islands are excluded unless they are “accessible islands” or they are specified by the Secretary of State by order. Subsection (3) sets out what constitutes an “accessible island”. This is an island to which it is possible to walk from the mainland of England or from another island (other than an excluded island) across the foreshore or by means of a bridge, tunnel or causeway. Subsection (4) provides that, for this purpose, it is possible to walk to an island even if it is possible at certain times, or during certain periods, only. Subsection (5) puts a condition on the Secretary of State’s power to specify an island by order. This is that the coast of the island must be sufficiently long to enable the public to make an extensive journey on foot (the language used in relation to long-distance routes by section 51 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949).

748.Subsection (6) provides that the means of access to an accessible island (for example a bridge, tunnel or a causeway or the foreshore) is to be considered to be part of the English coast for the purposes of the first objective (the duty to secure the English coastal route). This is so that the English coastal route includes the means of access.

749.Subsection (7) provides that this section is subject to section 307 which makes provision about the application of this Part to the Isles of Scilly.

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