NEW PLANS have been unveiled for massive improvement works on the coastal paths running between Eastbourne and Shoreham.

The proposals would see the 31-mile network of cliff-top footpaths added to the England Coastal Path, Natural England’s new 2,700-mile-long national trail.

The works would see trails upgraded to allow them to be “rolled back” in the event of coastal erosion, which threatens many of these paths, as well as improving signage on the routes.

Jim Seymour, Natural England’s area manager for East Sussex and Kent said: “I personally look forward to this proposed route providing a link to our wider National Trail networks along the South Downs National Park.”

The route identified by Natural England will take in the famous Sussex coastline, running from Eastbourne to Shoreham via Seaford, Newhaven, Brighton and Hove.

It will take in the chalk cliffs of Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters, as well as the historic seafront promenades of Brighton and Hove.

The path will also run past the Newhaven-Dieppe ferry port, which it is hoped will encourage tourists to visit the Sussex coastline.

The plans, which were published on Thursday, will now enter a period of consultation lasting eight weeks during which the public can comment on the proposals.

Mr Seymour said: “We have already had discussions with local residents, landowners and key organisation along the proposed route.

“Their input has been essential and helped shape the proposals, and we thank everyone for their time and input so far.

“Over the next eight weeks, we are inviting all people to have their say.

“It’s important that all responses are taken into account and we look forward to hearing people’s views.”

The England Coast Path is a proposed national trail running the length of England’s coastline.

Natural England, the Government’s independent adviser on the natural environment, describes it as the “longest, newest and most challenging National Trail, passing through some of our finest countryside and coastal locations”.

The Eastbourne-Shoreham route would be the second stretch of the Sussex coastline to be incorporated into the National Trail, as work on a route from Camber to Eastbourne is already underway.