This only goes to show that you have little or no real appreciation of the issues and by this letter it seems to me complicit in a civil service cover up or protection.
Says Bob Milton
"It seems that you have sent the same letter as you sent me, re HLS, to Maureen Comber dated the same as your letter to me. This only goes to show that you have little or no real appreciation of the issues and by this letter it seems to me complicit in a civil service cover up or protection. I wonder how many other complainants have received the same letter?"
The original letter written by Bob Milton
Dear Mr Corner
Further to your email of the 6th September 2012 I do not feel that you have actually addressed the issues and points in my EIR requests in the email of the 8th June below
With respect to you letter of the 6th September I have the following points to make
- We are talking about land to which there already exists public access rights especially equestrian and not just highway rights such as Bridleways.
- It seems that NE and the Planning Inspectorate [except for one isolated case] are not meeting the public access rights or its own remit on public access.
- HLS rules do not require existing public access rights to be taken into account yet the funding regime that supports the Habitat Directive excludes any power of enforcement over existing rights
- I agree that HLS can be paid to Local Authorities as landowners but not for Statutory Duty. The regulations for HLS refer to the ELS regulations which states that point. I agree it is not something the Exchequer can fund but it is through HLS. Local Authorities and Government departments such as the MoD are seeking and have sort to circumvent this by granting grazing licences or management contracts to third parties with the connivance of NE and Defra.
- The 2005 regulations have digressed from the legal interest set out in the Habitat Directive and introduced the concept of a licence to occupy instead of tenant and NE has then interpreted its own and Defra’s misrepresentation as lawful. Grazing licences and management contracts are not a legal interest in the land and do not have management control and they are carrying out statutory duty of the landowner in respect to SSSI/ SPA’s. This is not being assessed by NE officers so that payments are being made to third parties for landowner statutory duty
- You rightly list the public interest tests but fail to include the others listed in the legislation. It is not for the SoS or its delegated authority to prioritise one against the other but to test each. Where as in the 1998 first Chobham inquiry the inspector found that the case failed on one test - the landscape character ie interests of the neighbourhood. The Inspector in the second  found only for the narrow and biased advise of NE which was self serving in pursuit of its own PSA objective despite admitting that the works would not bring the SSSI into favourable condition and would be a disbenefit in terms of public access.
- In respect to your statement that the applicant ie ‘the party interested in seeing a change……should be able to show it has considered the differing views and interests of all stakeholders……’. You are surely referring to the need to show clear peer reviewed scientific evidence that the proposals work and that there is no alternative regime which would result in less loss of benefit under any of the other tests but would still meet the conservation objectives for the SSSI/SPA. This NE has since 2002 refused to do even though it was advised so to do.
- There is an added issue of misappropriation that of the payment for gates under stewardship for existing statutory rights eg Rights of Way but which could equally be applied to land where public rights to ‘air and exercise’ or public recreation exist. Natural England have stated that it can not pay through stewardship for such things as gates on public rights of way eg bridleways or footpaths but that is exactly what has happened. A full investigation as to how much should be launched and for that money to be clawed back from landowners.
I look forward to your response and in particular the EIR to the RPA copied to you which is only one of the potential fraud issues I have flagged up and have copied below