River Wear

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 27th March 2007.

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Photo of Ashok Kumar Ashok Kumar PPS (Rt Hon Hilary Benn, Secretary of State), Department for International Development

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

(1) on which parts of the River Wear voluntary access agreements have been reached on (a) both river banks and (b) a single river bank;

(2) what assessment he has made of the impact of voluntary access agreements covering only a single river bank on providing effective access to the River Wear.

Photo of Barry Gardiner Barry Gardiner Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Biodiversity, Landscape and Rural Affairs)

On the River Wear, 9 km of access, from Houghall to the Sands, has been negotiated through the voluntary access project managed by the Environment Agency. All of this has the agreement of landowners on both banks.

The voluntary access project delivered over 70 km of access on four rivers. Of this, only 200 m on the River Mersey is with one river bank owner. There is no evidence to suggest that single bank access is likely to be a feature of many agreements and no assessment of the impact of such access has been made.

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