The Isle of Wight is now the one and only of the 22 coastal counties in England not to be included in the nationwide Coastal Access Scheme. This week, DEFRA confirmed that they’re not going to change their mind on that either.
Why is the Island being made to miss out on this?
Last Friday DEFRA announced their decision to block the Isle of Wight from the nationwide Coastal Access Scheme, which would have enabled Islanders and visitors to walk the whole way around the Island’s 70 miles of coastline.
Some hope was still held out that this decision, labelled as “bitterly disappointing” by campaigning groups, might be reviewed or reversed.
Not under this Political administration
Now, by this week saying, “It is not appropriate in principle for an order to be signed for the Isle of Wight to be included under the provisions of the 2009 Marine and Coastal access Act”, DEFRA is saying the Island will never be included in this scheme, under the current Political administration.
The utter confusion as to why DEFRA made their decision is heightened by campaigners claiming that, after their studying responses to the public consultation, they found that out of the 2,445 responses, just 73 responses objected to the proposal, leading them to conclude that 96.8% of the respondents agreed with the proposal.
Given what are overwhelming figures of support, the government department has chosen to ignore this huge majority and go against it.
Financial benefits would be huge
If the figures that the proposed English coastal path will generate £2.572 billion per year for the local economies and support 100,000 full time jobs, are even within a billion pounds of being correct, why are the residents and the businesses of the Isle of Wight being excluded from the opportunity of benefit?