BASC has welcomed the news that Defra minister Huw Irranca-Davies will host a conference over the summer to discuss concerns from the shooting community about the new Marine and Coastal Access Bill.
The Minister suggested convening a conference for interested parties after amendments to resolve the lack of a right of appeal for holders of shooting or sporting rights in the Bill were withdrawn at Tuesday’s meeting of the Marine and Coastal Access Bill committee.
Under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW) there is an appeals process, which is open to landowners and sporting tenants. BASC has pressed for a similar appeal to be included in this new bill. As it currently stands only the landowner will have a right of appeal, and not the tenant which will affect hundreds of wildfowling and angling clubs.
During the debate Huw Irranca-Davies said: “I am interested in convening a summit or conference of those with an interest in sporting rights—anglers, shooters and others—so my very good team of officials and I can sit down with them and seek not only to clarify, expand and reassure, but, where necessary, to introduce additional guidance to explain how representations can be heard under both CROW and this Bill and how their interests can be protected. That should provide the proper reassurance that perhaps they have not yet received.”
BASC’s chief executive, John Swift, said: “BASC will continue to press for the inclusion of a right of appeal for holders of shooting or sporting rights, and we look forward to the opportunity to meet the minister and discuss this issue. But if this conference doesn’t take place, or fails to take full account of our concerns, BASC will continue to lobby the government when the bill returns to the House of Lords later in the year.”
A full transcript of the debate is available from the Hansard website.