Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour
Release Date:
Tuesday, 17 January 2017 - 9:36am

The public is hereby reminded of the legislation guiding Public Access and Rights of Way to Beaches as per the Planning Act 2004.

The Planning Act 2004 states that “a beach” is defined as that area of the coastal zone from the seaward limit of the foreshore running inland to the vegetation line or other natural barrier whichever is closer to the landward limit of the foreshore, and a beach may consist of sand, stones, gravel, shingle, coral fragments or boulders.”

Section 61 states: There shall be at least one public landward access to every beach in the Territory. Where there is no alternative public landward access, traditional public use of a private landward access through an existing private development shall be sufficient grounds for establishing a public way over that access for the purpose of access to the beach by the public.

Where the only landward access to a beach is through an existing private development where traditional public use pursuant to subsection (2) has not been established, the Crown may acquire the right to public use of that landward access by gift, agreement, compulsory acquisition, or in exchange for other property, interest, or financial exemption, or by such other means as the Minister may recommend.

For the purposes of this section “traditional public use” means peaceable, open and uninterrupted enjoyment for a period of twenty years or more; and public landward access shall be motorable unless the Minister otherwise determines.

For more information regarding this legislation, persons may contact the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour at 468-2147 or nrl@gov.vg.