PLANS for a new coastal path between Durham, Hartlepool and Sunderland have been branded a waste of public money.
The new England Coast Path, planned by Natural England, has been criticised by the Country Land and Business Association (CLA).
CLA North regional director Dorothy Fairburn said: “Natural England’s own figures state that more than four-fifths of the coast is already accessible to the public.
“In these straitened times, when the Government is trying to cut public expenditure, it is misguided to spend millions of pounds replicating access that already exists.
“If the Government wants to spend money on the coast, then it would be better spent on improving the facilities already on the established coastal paths such as maintenance, signs, toilets and car parks.”