Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Gibson seeks clarification over 'unfortunate decision'

News release
Immediate release

Rob Gibson SNP MSP for Highlands and Islands has called for urgent clarification of the law of access. Mr Gibson was commenting after the decision by Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross licensing committee to grant Alladale Estate permission to enclose a park for wild boar and European elk which will block the access path along Glen Alladale

Mr Gibson said it was an unfortunate decision...

"Since the license for a fenced enclosure in 2007 the eccentric plans of Paul Lister were exposed in an embarrassing TV series. This showed a millionaire lording it over his private mountain kingdom with scant regard to public access and long established customary rights."

"I am concerned that the LibDem led Highland Council is allowing conflicting laws to clash. Which takes precedence? Do we have to bow to private whims and block access through wild country that could be a life and death issue for walkers in severe weather."

"I am astounded that the licensing board chair Cllr Alasdair Rhind showed scant regard for the physical dangers to walkers on the Alladale path. Access to the bulk of the estate is no excuse for blocking long used the Alladale path."

"I will raise the matter with the Minster, meantime I hope to hear how Highland Council will review this unfortunate decision."Mr Gibson has written to Lib Dem leader of Highland Council Michael Foxley to seek clarification over the administration's commitment to free access throughout the region.


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