UK Marine Bill could affect price of coastal properties

Property prices in coastal areas could fall 20% if the public is given free access to the entire English coast, as proposed in the new UK Marine Bill.

Proposals included in the Government's draft Marine Bill include plans to create a 2,800 mile corridor around the country, giving the public free access to the entire English coast. It is believed the scheme will cost £2-5 million annually to implement.

But according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), this could prove detrimental to property prices.

Supporters of the move want to see the entire coast open to the public over the next 10 years, with a sliver of land between a suggested coastal path and the sea all handed over for public consumption.

Damian Cleghorn, RICS public policy officer, argues, however, that unbridled public access could have a harmful impact on sensitive environmental coastal areas, threatening the biodiversity so valued by the public.

It is also of concern that the Government does not appear to have undertaken further research or considered comparable evidence on compensation prior to the publication of this bill, added Mr Cleghorn.

Given that security and safety problems are likely to cause property values to fall by as much as 20%, the decision not to compensate landowners is unfair and punitive, he continued.

'The UK Government might find themselves the subject of extensive litigation as property owners seek to overcome this draconian breach of their human rights,' concluded Mr Cleghorn.