SAVE PENWITH MOORS
SAVE PENWITH MOORS ACTION GROUP TAKES NATURAL ENGLAND TO UN COMMISSION FOR FAILING TO ABIDE BY EUROPEAN ENVIRONMENTAL LAW
They claim Natural England failed to consult with affected local communities prior to enclosing public open-access areas of moorland with the wide-spread installation of barbed wire fences, gates and cattle grids
Says Ian Cooke
Having failed to get any satisfactory resolution of our complaints by the UK Parliamentary Ombudsman, Save Penwith Moors has now sent a 44 page dossier, together with 70 supporting documents, to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe [UNECE], Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee, in Geneva, Switzerland, complaining that: "the UK Government, through its Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, failed to ensure that the national agency tasked with managing the environment - Natural England [NE] (formerly English Nature) ? consulted with affected local communities in West Penwith (the Land's End Peninsula), Cornwall, prior to enclosing public open-access areas of moorland with the wide-spread installation of barbed wire fences, gates and cattle grids as part of the trans-national HEATH Project."
"As Project lead partner, Natural England should have carried out consultations to enable local opinion and concerns to be expressed and taken into account at an early planning stage before being presented with a fait accompli in 2008, and we allege that this omission represents a breach of Pillar 2 of the Aarhus Convention and brings into question the lawfulness of all HEATH Project stock proofing throughout West Penwith."
The Aarhus Convention, under the auspices of UNECE was signed in the city of Aarhus in Denmark on 25th June 1998 and consisted of three 'pillars' dealing with environmental matters: access to information, access to justice and public participation.
On 24 February 2005, the UK ratified the UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (The Aarhus Convention). In line with the Convention's procedures the UK became a full Party to the Convention 90 days after this date, in May 2005. The Convention is an important measure to ensure 'environmental democracy' throughout the UNECE region.
Summary of SAVE PENWITH MOORS complaint sent to the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee
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