Ministry of Defence to consult public on countryside access.
Tony Barnett writes to Richard Brooks, MOD Estates,
who is responsible for the consultation
"I WOULD ENCOURAGE ALL TO WRITE TO THEIR MP’S"
Says Tony Barnett
RICHARD BROOKS, OF THE MOD ESTATES HAS PUT FORWARD HIS PROPOSALS TO AMEND BYE-LAWS AND TO INTRODUCE NEW BYE-LAWS TO OPEN ACCESS LAND UNDER SECTION 28 OF THE 2000 CROW ACT FOR PUBLIC CONSULTATION.
I HAVE SPOKEN TO RICHARD, AND LIKE MOST, HE MISINTERPRITES LEGISLATION ON SUCH ISSUSES.
THE 1892 MILITARY LANDS ACT (MLA) IS AN ACT TO CONSOLIDATE AND AMEND CERTAIN ENACTMENTS RELATING TO THE ACQUISITION OF LAND FOR “MILITARY PURPOSES” AND THEREFORE IT CAN SUSPEND NORMAL ACTIVITIES ACCESS.
THIS THEN IS REQUISITION OF ANY OPEN SPACES LIKE COMMON, HEATH TOWN AND MOORLAND, WHERE THE SECRETARY OF STATE MAY BY DIRECTION EXCLUDE OR RESTRICT ACCESS BY VIRTUE OF SECTION 2 (1) TO ANY LAND.
THIS CAN BE DURING ANY PERIOD IF HE IS SATISFIED THAT THE EXCLUSION OR RESTRICTION OF SUCH ACCESS TO THE EXTENT PROVIDED BY THE DIRECTION IS NECESSARY FOR THE DEFENCE OR NATIONAL SECURITY DURING SPECIFIED PERIODS THAT SUBSECTION (1) MAY BE EXPRESSED TO HAVE EFFECT.
RICHARD CONFIRMED THAT THE OPEN ACCESS SUBJECT TO THIS PUBLIC CONSULTATION IS NOT REQUESITIONED LAND OR LAND OWNED BY THE MOD ESTATES.
RICHARD DID STATE THAT THE MOD DOES OWN AND HAVE SOME COMMON LANDS UNDER REQUISITION, I HAVE REQUESTED FULL DISCLOSURE OF THE NECESSARY DOCUMENTATION, HE WILL NOT HOWEVER COMPLY WITH MY REQUEST.
THEREFORE, ANY BYE-LAW NOW IN PLACE ARE NOT ENFORCEABLE AND THE NEW BYE-LAWS WILL NOT HAVE ANY POWER AND CAN BE IGNORED.
THE RIGHTS UNDER THE 2000 CROW ACT FOR THE PUBLIC IN RELATION TO OPEN ACCESS LAND, IS THAT OF ANY RIGHTS OF ACCESS TO COMMON MOORLAND, TOWN AND VILLAGE GREEENS FOR PURPOSES OF TAKING AIR AND EXERCISE AND RECREATION AS LONG AS GOOD MANNERS ARE COMPLIED WITH.
RICHARD READ INTO THE 2000 CROW ACT AS THOUGH MOD ESTATES COULD REGULATE BY BYE-LAWS ANY LAND THAT IS OPEN ACCESS LAND WITHOUT CONSENT FROM THE SECRETARY OF STATE, HE NOW HAS AGREED TO TAKE LEGAL ADVICE.
THE INFORMATION I HAVE GIVEN HERE STILL REQUIRES THAT PERSONS MUST FIRST SEARCH FOR THE STATUS OF COMMON OR ORDINARY OPEN ACCESS LAND BEFORE TAKING ACTION; I WILL OF COURSE OFFER MY SERVICES FREE.
SEE INFORMATION ON CONTACT VIS HORSEYTALK.
I WOULD ENCOURAGE ALL TO WRITE TO THEIR MP’S.
Details of the MOD Consultation
Ministry of Defence to consult public on countryside access
The MOD has just launched a formal consultation on the five-year review of 21 sets of access arrangements, set up in 2007, relating to Open Access on military land across the country. Walkers, cyclists, horse riders and other people who use military land have the opportunity to contribute to this consultation.
Most military sites where hazardous or sensitive activities take place are covered by MOD Byelaws made under the Military Lands Act 1892 (MLA). These allow safe public access, when permitted, and give approval for appropriate activities. The MOD has a programme to review and update these Byelaws.
New or revised Byelaws will be introduced for the majority of these sites, but in the meantime, Section 28 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW Act) allows the Government to make a 'Direction' that excludes or restricts access onto land covered by the Act for the purpose of Defence.
These Directions can be for short-term, long-term or indefinite periods. They do not necessarily restrict all public access. In most cases of the 21 directions made in 2007 the public are welcome to visit the ranges or training areas when the red flags are down or at times of reduced military activity - we do not propose to change the current arrangements for access under this review.
The CROW Act states that a review of Section 28 directions must be undertaken after 5 years and include a minimum of two weeks consultation, but the MOD has voluntarily extended this period to one month. The consultation closes on 19th November 2012.