Sir Chris asks written question of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs regarding footpath plans for Christchurch.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 8 February 2021 to Question 148676 on Public Footpaths: Christchurch, whether the Inspector plans to hold a public inquiry into the objections; and what the timeframe is for the completion of the Inspector’s report for consideration by the Secretary of State.
The Planning Inspector plays an independent role in the determination of the objections received on a set of proposals. It is up to the Inspector to decide whether it is necessary or expedient to hold a public inquiry or other hearing in connection with the consideration of objections to Natural England’s proposals.
In the case of the Kimmeridge Bay to Highcliffe stretch, the Inspector’s consideration of the relevant objections has been delayed due to the impact of the European Court ruling known as People Over Wind. Natural England is reviewing the relevant Habitats Regulations Assessment in compliance with this ruling.
Given this, and the impact of ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the department is unable to give a firm timeframe for the completion of this work.
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