Beaches South of Ardtoe - proposal to suspend access rights

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AGNorwich
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Re: Beaches South of Ardtoe - proposal to suspend access rig

Post by AGNorwich » Fri Nov 27, 2015 8:46 am

The document as posted has re-drawn the affected area to exclude all areas of foreshore, the public access path to Camas an Lighe is being maintained as are rights under the land reform act applying to the area above the level of MHWS at Camas an Lighe.

So it looks to me as if all important access to paddlers will be maintained throughout. The only thing that you won't be able to do is pitch your tent in the areas above MHWS on the small inlets to the east of Camas an Lighe.

AG

ian johnston
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Re: Beaches South of Ardtoe - proposal to suspend access rig

Post by ian johnston » Fri Nov 27, 2015 11:07 am

AGNorwich wrote:The document as posted has re-drawn the affected area to exclude all areas of foreshore, the public access path to Camas an Lighe is being maintained as are rights under the land reform act applying to the area above the level of MHWS at Camas an Lighe.

So it looks to me as if all important access to paddlers will be maintained throughout. The only thing that you won't be able to do is pitch your tent in the areas above MHWS on the small inlets to the east of Camas an Lighe.

AG
That was confirmed in Alastair Stewart's reply to my email and seems to be a change and a bit of "walk back" as the Planning department realised that they couldn't enforce any restriction on the foreshore. Incidentally, I believe that he leaves his post very soon.

It's good that access between the tidal zones will be maintained, but the far bigger issue is the proposal to suspend access to ANY piece of land for a year, which sets a precedent for other landowners to misuse. This was never envisaged in the Section 11 provisions, which were put in place to allow for things like concerts or car rallies of a very short duration. I can almost hear the calculations as one particular Highland estate waits to see whether this "human zoo" project is successful in preventing public access....

My letter goes in the post today - note that objections must be submitted in writing, stating the grounds for objection (emails aren't acceptable as the letters must be signed). The person to address representations to is:


Stewart D Fraser
Head of Corporate Governance
The Highland Council
Glenurquhart Road
INVERNESS
IV3 5NX

Kind Regards

Ian

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Robert Craig
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Re: Beaches South of Ardtoe - proposal to suspend access rig

Post by Robert Craig » Sat Nov 28, 2015 4:18 pm

My letter was posted yesterday.

My concern is the precedent - loosing a few square km for a year doesn't get me that worried, but losing other bits does.

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Jim
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Re: Beaches South of Ardtoe - proposal to suspend access rig

Post by Jim » Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:58 am

I think the year is the key objection here.

The act provides for short term exclusions for the land owner to carry their normal activities or special activities, and all rights assigned under the act are for short term use (e.g. wild camping), so exclusion for an entire year seems to outside the spirit of the act.

It would be interesting to see if the production company have considered, or made any plans for, the possibility of boaters being forced ashore for survival reasons - I am quite sure they would be accommodating (could probably spin another documentary out of it) as most landowners are in such circumstances, but when considering access restrictions where there are currently none, this is the sort of thing that ought to be considered. As it happens there are better places to make an emergency landing very close by, but it would be good to know if someone has even considered these factors either from the applicants side, or the authority's....

celticmargaret
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Re: Beaches South of Ardtoe - proposal to suspend access rig

Post by celticmargaret » Mon Nov 30, 2015 7:18 pm

I have objection in principle to the use of a Section 11 Order for a year. Any company which wants to make a film can do so with voluntary agreements. Were this use of Section 11 be authorised by Ministers there is a very real threat to responsible access elsewhere in future as it sets the precedent that long term access bans for such ventures are acceptable. It is not a local Ardnamurchan issue. It is a test case for access law across the country.

celticmargaret
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Re: Beaches South of Ardtoe - proposal to suspend access rig

Post by celticmargaret » Mon Nov 30, 2015 7:21 pm

Robert Craig wrote:My letter was posted yesterday.

My concern is the precedent - loosing a few square km for a year doesn't get me that worried, but losing other bits does.
Exactly...the Section 11 procedure was never intended to be used for a year to facilitate commercial activity such as film making.

Chris Bolton
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Re: Beaches South of Ardtoe - proposal to suspend access rig

Post by Chris Bolton » Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:06 pm

It is not a local Ardnamurchan issue. It is a test case for access law across the country.
I agree; avoiding the precedent means this is more important than the local issue. But I think our objections, if they are to be considered valid by those who receive them, have to be relevant to the specific case. Otherwise it could be regarded as a circular argument. I may be wrong, but I will be writing mine on the specifics.

MikeK
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Re: Beaches South of Ardtoe - proposal to suspend access rig

Post by MikeK » Sat Dec 05, 2015 8:23 am

Chris Bolton wrote:
It is not a local Ardnamurchan issue. It is a test case for access law across the country.
I agree; avoiding the precedent means this is more important than the local issue. But I think our objections, if they are to be considered valid by those who receive them, have to be relevant to the specific case. Otherwise it could be regarded as a circular argument. I may be wrong, but I will be writing mine on the specifics.
We took a walk down there last week to check it out from the land. I had only been there by kayak before. What was immediately obvious was the woods that the 'lab specimens' will use are extremely inaccessible from the path. Whereas I understand what Chris is driving at, the major objection is the length of the exclusion period which would be relevant to any application. In this case one year is quite clearly a long time, what is the break point between short (temporary) and long (semi permanent) ?

Having seen the site from the land I do wonder what reasoning process there was in the mind of the applicant to even think of applying for a temporary restriction to access. The inaccessibility of the forest from the path would make such an application unnecessary; combine this with the popularity of the bit left unhindered, the walk and beach which are along the edge of the site and in between two parts of it respectively, there is no logic to the exclusion as it is both unnecessary and unenforceable.
My conclusion is that the idea of the application is either very badly thought through or may even be a test case, not that there is strong logic to that thought process either.
Incidentally I assume the walk and beach are extremely popular in the summer, we were there on a cold, wet and windy day and met 3 other couples all just out for a walk. None of them there 'casing the joint' as we were. I'm definitely going back with bikes and the grandchildren. A perfect track for them to ride on.

RoryD
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Re: Beaches South of Ardtoe - proposal to suspend access rig

Post by RoryD » Sat Dec 05, 2015 2:07 pm

My own letter is done now too and I concur that, since land below HWS is no longer included, it's not such a significant access issue for paddlers/other visitors. My objection therefore focuses instead on the incompetence of the Highland Council in supporting this inappropriate application for a Section 11 Order:

> the lack of any argument/ justification for the need for the Order,
> its conflict with Scott Govt guidance re. the minimum scale/period of any Order,
> its conflict with Scott Govt guidance re. the need to explore whether alternative approaches might work;
> if approved it could set a dangerous precedent for further sweeping exemptions on flimsy grounds for narrow commercial or private interests;
> its ineffectiveness (what could it actually achieve on the ground compared to no Order?) and its “unenforceability”

- RoryD

MikeK
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Re: Beaches South of Ardtoe - proposal to suspend access rig

Post by MikeK » Sat Dec 05, 2015 7:25 pm

Well said Rory

Chris Bolton
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Re: Beaches South of Ardtoe - proposal to suspend access rig

Post by Chris Bolton » Sat Dec 12, 2015 12:42 pm

My letter is sent. Similarly, my grounds for objection are:

- the Order is unnecessary and disproportionate; public access will not significantly affect making the TV programme
- inconvenience to the TV programme from maintaining access rights will be less than the inconvenience to the public if they are withdrawn
- Scottish Government guidance does not support the need for an Order
- the grounds of safety and security stated in the order are spurious (by comparison with examples in guidance)
- Exclusion in such circumstances will damage Scotland's reputation as an accessible area for 'adventure tourism'

It is not part of my objection, but I will say here that if upheld by Ministers, this would set a bad precedent. If you agree, please write, with your own reasons (the more/different, the better).

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Jim
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Re: Beaches South of Ardtoe - proposal to suspend access rig

Post by Jim » Tue Dec 15, 2015 3:15 pm

Chris Bolton wrote:
It is not part of my objection, but I will say here that if upheld by Ministers, this would set a bad precedent.
This I find tricky.
People keep telling me that Scots law is not based on precedent, so legally every application would be approved or not on it's own merit, and not because a similar one was once approved.
Is this correct?
If it is correct, is it really true - do ministers and judges (who actually reviews it?) really have the capacity to ignore any past ruling or is there always subconscious precedent in law?

Irrespective of legal precedent, could it set a general precedent by encouraging more landowners to make questionable applications in the future?

I always have a problem trusting ministers to do the right thing, the incident regarding Balmedie, a SSSI (or was it just an SI?), good ol' Donald J, and Alec Salmond always springs to mind when thinking about trusting ministers to make good decisions in respect of planning or access...... I bet Alec is keeping his head down this week!

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MikeB
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Re: Beaches South of Ardtoe - proposal to suspend access rig

Post by MikeB » Tue Dec 15, 2015 3:58 pm

Jim wrote: People keep telling me that Scots law is not based on precedent, so legally every application would be approved or not on it's own merit, and not because a similar one was once approved.
Is this correct?
If it is correct, is it really true - do ministers and judges (who actually reviews it?) really have the capacity to ignore any past ruling or is there always subconscious precedent in law?
Eh?

Lots of history to Scots Law, but the courts and therefore precedence are certainly a source. A quick check found me this - "Decisions of the Supreme Court (or House of Lords) in Scottish appeals bind all lower Scottish courts. Decisions of the Inner House of the Court of Session are also binding but those of single judges in the Outer House, Sheriffs or Justices of the Peace, are not. English cases may be of persuasive authority in Scottish courts as are decisions from mixed law jurisdictions such as South Africa." (I dont recall SA being mentioned when I did Scots Law module on my degree some years ago - but Europe certainly was)

Source: http://thestudentlawyer.com/2013/06/17/ ... -nutshell/

Chris Bolton
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Re: Beaches South of Ardtoe - proposal to suspend access rig

Post by Chris Bolton » Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:17 pm

I saw it as a practical precedent rather than a legal one. I think a case has to go all the way to the highest court before it becomes a formal legal precedent; any decisions of lower courts could be incorrect but not fully tested so not known to be incorrect. I'm not sure this would be a legal precedent anyway, as it's an Order that will or will not be confirmed by Ministers, so it won't involve a court unless there's some kind of judicial review.

The practical effect, if the Order is confirmed, is that more landowners will apply for more significant exemptions, and more Councils will tend to grant the requested Orders. If the Ministers reject the Order, landowners will be less likely to apply and Councils will be less likely make Orders, since there will be a bigger chance that they will be wasting their time. This will happen, I believe, despite the guidance saying each case should be decided on merit. But, while precedent isn't a good reason for asking Ministers to reject it - it's either right or or wrong, according to the Act, which is why I haven't mentioned precedent in my letter - the risk of an adverse precedent is good reason why anyone who has valid objections should write now.

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MikeB
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Re: Beaches South of Ardtoe - proposal to suspend access rig

Post by MikeB » Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:23 pm

Yes --- my letter went today.

Keo Films
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Re: Beaches South of Ardtoe - proposal to suspend access rig

Post by Keo Films » Fri Dec 18, 2015 8:27 pm

INVITE: Acharacle Community Council Meeting: Tuesday 5th January at 7pm

Keo Films and The Acharacle Community Council extends an open invite to the local community to attend a meeting regarding all matters surrounding TV project “Year Zero” (formally known as Eden)

DATE: Tuesday 5th January
TIME: 7pm
LOCATION: Acharacle Community Company, Main Road, Acharacle PH36 4JJ

Kind Regards
Keo Films


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MikeB
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Re: Beaches South of Ardtoe - proposal to suspend access rig

Post by MikeB » Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:42 pm

Keo Films wrote:INVITE:
Keo Films and The Acharacle Community Council extends an open invite to the local community to attend a meeting regarding all matters surrounding TV project “Year Zero” (formally known as Eden)
Just for clarity, is this really purely for the "local community"? Mike.

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Robert Craig
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Re: Beaches South of Ardtoe - proposal to suspend access rig

Post by Robert Craig » Sun Dec 20, 2015 7:44 pm

Keo Films wrote:INVITE: Acharacle Community Council Meeting: Tuesday 5th January at 7pm
.........
Kind Regards
Keo Films
Thanks for posting up here, and hopefully thanks for reading what's been said here, which may give you an insight into the background to some of the objections. I'm sure there's a way forward which will suit all.

Chris Bolton
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Re: Beaches South of Ardtoe - proposal to suspend access rights

Post by Chris Bolton » Sat Feb 06, 2016 8:04 pm

I've now received a letter from the Highland Council, passing on the response from the project to all the objections and inviting me, if I'm now satisfied with the explanations,to write back to them and say so. Sadly, they haven't addressed any of my concerns (summarised in my post on 12 Dec), so I've written back to say that. Possibly pointless, as the deadline for objections has passed, but I felt I had to explain the problems to the Council, even if they won't be considered by Ministers.

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MikeB
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Re: Beaches South of Ardtoe - proposal to suspend access rights

Post by MikeB » Sat Feb 06, 2016 11:16 pm

Yep! Me too. And others. My letter requested a confirmation that they had redacted my personal information before passing (without my permission) my original objection on to the third party. I have yet to receive this confirmation, so I intend to first remind them and then pass the correspondence on as appropriate as I suspect they have breached the Data Protection Act.

Elsewhere, I see that a substantial fence is being constructed - prior to the approval of the Section 11 Permit - without any obvious means of allowing legal access.

Fascinating.

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Re: Beaches South of Ardtoe - proposal to suspend access rights

Post by RoryD » Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:44 am

We are into March now and, according to The Herald, The Scottish Govt has not yet taken a decision on the Highland Council proposal to suspend the right of responsible access - http://bit.ly/1oR80Un
"A Scottish Government spokesman said Highland Council had applied for one, but this had prompted a number of queries. "Scottish Ministers have therefore not yet made a decision,” he said."

- Rory

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Robert Craig
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Re: Beaches South of Ardtoe - proposal to suspend access rights

Post by Robert Craig » Fri Mar 04, 2016 7:42 am

Maybe some hope?

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Beaches South of Ardtoe - proposal to suspend access rights

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Wed Mar 23, 2016 2:46 pm

Image

Image

We visited the beach at the north of the area on the 17th of March. The day before our visit helicopters were flying gear in all day but none were flying during our visit due to cloud and mist. The dunes all along the beach now have an array of 360 remote control cameras with motion sensors and transmitters. As we approached about 20 people mostly men and all dressed in black appeared at various places along the dunes, on the shore and rocky outcrops. We landed and made our way up to some rocks at the top of the beach where we had second luncheon coffee, and Jura. They kept an eye on us and we took photographs of each other but no one said anything about leaving. Later the only woman we saw came on to the beach and started taking photographs. As she passed I said hello and we exchanged pleasantries. Crucially no one challenged our right to be there. I was ready for them just in case. If you didn't have a strong determination to land you might be put off by the number of men in black. The two nearest us seemed to be a photographer and a remote camera/radio technician but they both appeared to be wearing masks. Most likely they were just scarves wrapped round their faces and they were cold but it did create an intimidating atmosphere.

The word on the street up there is that after the year has passed the landowner is going to clear the forest and build a golf course.

Douglas

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Re: Beaches South of Ardtoe - proposal to suspend access rights

Post by MikeK » Wed Mar 23, 2016 8:08 pm

Our son and family were out and about the Ardnamurchan Peninsular yesterday, the 22nd March, we live in Arisaig and in fact he owns the Arisaig Hotel and was taking the day off as it was his birthday. They stopped at the Salen Hotel for lunch (for those unfamiliar with the area, it is close to the Ardtoe Channel 4 forest and beaches area Douglas has the photos of above). There were 7 or 8 out of towners there too, dressed in array of gear from serious hill walking stuff to linen trousers. Apparently these were the C4 programme victims, or at least some of them. Josh and Sophie's assessment of them was they weren't picked for their suitability for the experiment but to make interesting TV. They are due to be in place for the year from today.
I can't even begin to imagine what they will think of the Midges in the summer, it's going to be a living hell for them.

I haven't heard the golf course comment Douglas but us Arisaig resident don't always get the latest gossip outside the village. Maybe we can get Donald Trumpppppp interested, as soon as he becomes president of the USA that is, anything would be possible then. :-))

Mike

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Krautsgalore
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Re: Beaches South of Ardtoe - proposal to suspend access rights

Post by Krautsgalore » Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:43 am

So if I get it right they pursue the project and the access rights have not been officially suspended yet. I'm not that deep in Scottish legislation, but say some kayaker lands and walks around the countryside (happens now and then)
and the muscle err Security guards try to execute rights that so far not been granted to them... of course retreat would be a smart thing to do in that case. But to give up access rights "voluntary"? Where will it stop?

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Jim
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Re: Beaches South of Ardtoe - proposal to suspend access rights

Post by Jim » Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:29 pm

I doubt if the security people (if that's what they are) will actually try very hard to move people on, wherever there used to be access issues in Scotland, the same landowners (and/or their employees) generally still try it on but give up and go away as soon as the land reform act or access code enter the conversation. For example, the idiot who has always tried to stop paddling on the river Lyon has a tactic of driving up and telling people that the river level is dangerous today and that another group have already got into difficulty downstream and there are swimmers and lost kit all over the place, simply to try to scare you away - the fact that you will have driven up looking down into the river most of the way so know this is false doesn't seem to put him off.... he knows better than to suggest access isn't allowed as he used to, just wastes his time trying to put people off instead.

But, now that the filming is underway, and no restriction has apparently been created, lets try to remember what our rights are.
The landowner has a right to legally use (or let) the land for lawful activities, such as filming a documentary, and our rights only extend to access which does not prevent those activities, we have to act responsibly in exercising our rights.
As far as I can tell, if landing, lunching, camping etc. is not interfering with filming (I think we can exclude remote surveillance cameras), there is nothing to stop us doing those things, but if we were to find ourselves encroaching on the backdrop of an interview say, that would not be responsible. Just use some common sense, and prove to C4 and anyone else, that they don't need to put a restriction in place to film successfully, and that it is possible to share remote locations without affecting each others privacy. Once they see that it does work just fine, they should see there is no need to apply for restrictions in the future.

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MikeB
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Re: Beaches South of Ardtoe - proposal to suspend access rights

Post by MikeB » Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:26 pm

A sad and dark day for our access rights! I've just heard from Highland Council that the exemption order has actually been granted!

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Robert Craig
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Re: Beaches South of Ardtoe - proposal to suspend access rights

Post by Robert Craig » Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:54 am

me too got

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Big Fish
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Re: Beaches South of Ardtoe - proposal to suspend access rights

Post by Big Fish » Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:26 am

I wonder what the local people think about this? If it is bringing employment (it may not be) or future tourist attraction (again it might not be) then they might reasonably accept a temporary suspension of access to an area that is probably mainly used by outsiders anyway. Whatever about the potential for abuse of access rights, sometimes a local solution for local people is to be commended.

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