IIRC Aston Hill was developed by, amongst others the Warby's, particularly Ian. At eh outset it was OK with FC but as is often the way things became trickier and relations less positive as time went on. I believe in part there were some pretty unrealistic expectations from FC of the Warby's who were "operating" it at the time.
For quite a while (c2006/2007) it looked certain that the place would be closed. In the end Ian and the CTC managed to set up the current operating system which keeps FC happy, lets ASton Hill exist as a place to ride and allows the operators to keep going financially speaking.
I suspect you could get different shades of this story from other parties involved and if anyone can be bothered to Google it more than me then you might get a little bit more, but I think that's the general ghist.
In nearly a decade of dealing with land managers (be they FC, local authority or other) I have always found the general pace of the organisation or system glacial (for various legitimate and illegitimate reasons), the need to box-tick unavoidable and the drain on patience almost unbearable. However, it is irrelevant once access is grnated or a trail is built, because once it's done that's usually it, you're in and there's riding there for all.
Fair enough not everyone is suited to it but I do think it makes it worthwhile supporting an organisation who has people that are prepared to plod on with this sort of thing because our riding world will be all the richer for it in the end.
I'm not trying to say everyone should do it, lots don't have the inclination or patience for it but I don't get the negative vibe of certain posts towards an organisation that will do it on cyclists' behalf. Unless you've been a member I think you're probably in a poor position to really criticise a group, whether it's CTC, BC, IMBA UK or whatever. Not least because so much goes on that just can't be got over on websites or magazines. If you're not "within" an organisation you stand far less chance of knowing / understanding what all this is.