On Thursday, the LDNPA has announced, bids will close. Precious heritage sites, some of Special Scientific Interest, will have been flogged off in the space of just five weeks – and lost to Britons for all time.

Anyone expect the new owners to dynamite these places? No?

Then what the hell is this “lost to Britons” shit?

20 thoughts on “Eh?”

  1. Maybe what is lost is the freedom of the general public to freely go to those places which will no doubt when they become private have “Trespassers will be prosecuted” notices erected around them.
    I would love to know how they came into public ownership and what conditions were attached if they were ‘gifts’

  2. “Do some MPs even notice what happens beyond the M25?” says Victoria Lambert. Thankfully no, or they’d want to regulate even more of our activities.

  3. @Geoff if they were already a public path then under common law they can be continued to be used as such. I believe Jeremy Clarkson discovered this with a path at the bottom of his garden.

  4. It would be interesting to know what the access rights were before the sale. I don’t think all the Authority owned land is public access – a lot of it is let to commercial tenants for farming, forestry and so on.

    And the tarn is an artificial reservoir with a concrete dam which, it seems from the article, is due a bit of maintenance. Probably wise to pass that responsibility onto someone else.

  5. At least one of the sites is being sold subject to public access. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the others never had any.

  6. bloke (not) in spain

    “I would love to know how they came into public ownership and what conditions were attached if they were ‘gifts’”
    Excellent point.
    There’s a tendency for public bodies vested with “ownership” of assets on behalf of the public to regard them as the property of the body itself. Which effectively means the property of the people running the body.
    It’s what happened when many town centers were gutted by the selling off of the market squares. The councils had custodianship, not on behalf whatever electorate comprised their electoral base & from which they drew their supposed authority, but the users of the markets themselves. A subtly but different constituency..

  7. I live on the edge of the National Park.

    I don’t share the hysterics of those opposed to these sales but I do feel some discomfort that the vendor of these sites is also the Planning Authority with the power to ‘gift’ permissions in the future.

    There is a fairly blatant conflict of interest here.

  8. How the holy f*ck has this idea that ‘Britons’ as a weird abstract blob have the right to own any land? Or more importantly, the right to tell you what to do with the land?

    The National Parks are an effing disaster – a nastyish bit of middle class effete ‘ethnic cleansing’ as I’ve ever seen.

    First you declare those regions your wannabe intellectuals want to holiday in as ‘worthy of the nation’, then you very sharpishly take away a bunch of the locals’ democratic rights – rob them out from under their noses ‘it’s for you own good’.

    Form a non-elected governing body from outsiders and quislings and/or local fools, stop any potential business development and shut down (over time) all businesses that you don’t like. Make sure that any ‘traditional’ culture is only ‘allowed’ if it is performance or bowdlerised.

    Price out and push out the locals – ‘oh, you want a comfortable modern house?’ hahaha. ‘Do up your present one – only in the most expensive way we can make up.’

    Then you have some nice little holiday and retirement havens for the middle and upper middle classes who want to play Marie Antoinette and you’ve optimised the resource exploitation of the area – from Land Farming (and associated businesses) to Property Farming (which only your rich friends can play at).

    And now we have monotone cultural deserts called National Parks built on the same old ‘we had to destroy the village to save it’.

    I’ve seen this happen on Dartmoor, and I know how exactly ‘traditional culture’ would tell these arses where to go – if they hadn’t stolen democracy.

  9. Bloke in North Dorset

    That was painful to read, don’t they teach journalists to get to the point?

    “Public mood veers from incredulous to furious – soaring towards 170,000 signatures is the online petition by the not-for-profit political activism group 38 Degrees, which warns there are also plans to hack bits off the Yorkshire Dales and the Peak District next if a precedent is set. ”

    By my reckoning using the high side of the guide price the total for all 6 packages is £525k. If each of those 170k petitioners puts a fiver in the pot they can buy the lot and have £325k for other projects and maintenance.

    “All worry that planning restrictions will inevitably soften over time.”

    As someone working on a project to get mobile coverage to areas where local people want it we still get massive objections and rejections. No one is gonging to get planning permission for nice estates or even affordable housing in those areas.

    “Will the wild swimmers who love Stickle Tarn be in danger?”

    Has she never heard of the safety elves? I’m surprised that people are still allowed to wild swim in that Tarn. Oh, she means being allowed to swim by the new owners. That’s easy, the guide price is £20k to £30k. They should be able to find around 100 wild swimmer and £300 is less than a premiership season ticket so I see no reason why they can’t fund their own hobby.

    “And what about the neighbouring villages, if the dam should crack – spilling millions of gallons of glacial water, as happened in 1927 at nearby Kepplecove Tarn. ”

    And there’s a reason that the price is so low, it comes with an obligation to maintain the reservoir. Things have moved on a bit since 1927, Civil Engineering is now a mature discipline and there is an inspection regime in place.

    I’ve been listening to a radio program on AI taking over middle class jobs, maybe this was the start of the automation of journalism. If it is then good journalists have nothing to fear for a while,

  10. The parcels are so small it looks like bureaucratic tidying up to me. But the LDNPA website (a truly horrible place) is so full of managerese BS it’s impossible for me to tell.

    As observed above, the LDNPA doesn’t have to own even a blade of grass to retain the right to bugger up the locals’ lives.

  11. On a tangent, limiting public access to SSSIs may be a Good Thing; often the last thing they need is a bunch of grockles tramping all over them, leaving their crisp packets und so weiter…

  12. I always find it amusing that people object to selling off but are not so against the selling as to buy it themselves.

  13. much the same hysteria was levelled at the attempt to sell off Forestry Commission land and again much of the “working” land was let to private interests and off-limits to the public. The ones that were open access contained legal stipulations that such access be maintained

  14. Quite so, Flatcap. This is just the DT extending its Hands Off “our” Forestry Commission to give a warm glow to their readership of retired gentlefolks.

  15. The National Parks system is reminiscent of the Royal Forests system introduced by William the Conq.

  16. They’re ALL being sold with conditions of continuing public access, where it currently exists.

    But GeoffH is right – the Parks Authority which enforces those rights has reserved to itself the power to grant development permission in future.

    Maybe they are just waiting for someone to come along and offer appropriately large bribes.

    Oh, excuse me: “Planning Gains”. So much better and more euphemistic don’t you think?

  17. I don’t think the LDNPA has reserved itself the right to govern development. I think it just happens to have that right by nature of the sites being in the Lake District, and therefore subject to the planning requirements of that national park.

    What mystifies me is why people think that a national park authority holding land is less likely to allow development than not. The LDNPA has granted itself permission to develop its major site at Brockhole often enough for example. And speaking as someone born and brought up in the area, it is reluctant to grant permission in most cases when an application to build something is made, especially in an area like this.

    Indeed, it is an interesting question why an ‘Authority’ holds land (other than that necessary for the performance of its function) anyway. The newest national parks (South Downs and New Forest) do not own any land at all, so clearly owning the land is not a required part of the functioning of a national park.

    And finally, on access permissions, the Lake District fells are generally common land, so owning bits of these does not affect access rights (or even grazing rights). I am not even sure you can restrict swimmers. The bits in the valleys are not common, but then there is no guaranteed right of access to woods or fields anyway (including these lands for sale). So, as a condition of sale will be the maintainance of access rights, not sure what difference the ownership will make here.

    This seems to be the normal fuss of people who think ownership by a public authority makes something public land (try walking onto a school site without permission using this logic). Basically, a serious logical fail.

  18. From the article:

    “Coniston water

    GUIDE PRICES: £70,000 to £90,000”

    Only in Britain would an article appear in a national newspaper mourning the selling of a “national treasure” loved by all for about a third of the price of a half decent 3-bed house. If this is the price it’s fetching, it probably isn’t loved by very many at all.

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