Quantocks to be sold off by Somerset CC
just heard on the local Somerset BBC radio that Somerset are to sell off AONBs to help pay for the cuts!this includes some Mendips and Quantocks moorland areas – will this restrict access??
Only a week to register your thoughts with Somerset CC – ‘Friends of Quantocks’ seem to be putting up a case to keep from selling.
If you have a view and think it might affect MTBing or other access walking, riding then now is the time to let them know – remember public outcry stopped the selling off of forests.Posted 6 years ago
Selling land like this is a one off selling the ‘family silver’ do we as bikers want this to happen??santacoopsSubscriber
Good call bikeman, I just saw this on local news too. Mentioned blackdown which is my local. Quantocks and mendips are a hub for too many of us, please, even if you’re not local, let ‘friends of quantocks’ know how you feel and give your support for the continued use of a piece of countryside which is enjoyed by feet, wheels and hooves every day. Cheers all.Posted 6 years ago
It has only just been discovered by a reporter from Somerset BBC apparently a ‘3inch’ advert in Bridgwater Mercury – not sure anything has been set up yet with Friends of Qs’ the woman was on the radio – all I suggest at the moment is to email support to the names on the ‘friends of Quantocks’ website.Posted 6 years ago
Somerset are probably hoping to keep it very low profile and not draw attention.
You can view the maps of the area at County hall and have a copy of the proposed packages for sale for £5 from County Hall.
Sorry dont have naymore information – will post if I hear anything else – maybe selling off is a good thing, maybe selling off wont affect, BUT!I doubt it
local councillor ‘David Huxtable’ responsible for the sale has just been on the radio – given a hard time by the Somerset BBC reporter about how it was being pushed through on the quiet – the councillor was dismissive saying it was only small packages – e.g. Great Wood etc.to raise ‘small amounts of money’ to meet the government cuts and part of the council plan including the farms which have already gone.
His email is firstname.lastname@example.org [from the County council website]Posted 6 years ago
Thanks for writing to DH Votchy – he would say that wouldnt he?
I paste a reply I had from Friends of Quantocks – I dont think they see it quite as simple : read on hope this is helpful to all!
“Thanks very much for your email and your concern over the proposed sale of land in the Quantocks. For your information, please find below the email sent to Friends of Quantock members by the FoQ committee, which gives details of how to send in objections to this sale to SCC.
Your committee has learnt with some alarm of Somerset County Council’s intention to sell Great Wood, Custom Common, Over Stowey and Thorncombe Hill. These are all very important parts of the Quantock Hills AONB and we feel very strongly that they should remain in public ownership and not be disposed of to the highest bidder. While some safeguards are already in place and others might be imposed on the sale, it is clear that private ownership carries much higher risks of potential damage or neglect to these important areas, especially within the SSSI where management is all important.
The County Council has published a notice about the proposed sale (see attached) and anyone who wishes to object to the proposed disposal of the land should forward their written objection to: Honor Clark, Deputy County Solicitor, Legal Services, County Hall, Taunton TA1 4DY (ref: CNV0038/1/JAH) by 23 December 2011.
Friends of Quantock will be lodging a formal objection and we understand that the Campaign to Protect Rural England and other bodies are also considering objecting. We therefore invite all members to lodge personal objections to this proposal in order to demonstrate the strength of opinion against this proposed sale.
The matter is also receiving widespread publicity and our Chairman has been interviewed for television. The interview will be broadcast tomorrow, 14/12/11 on BBC1 Points West at 6.30 pm and on BBC Radio Somerset Sound at 7.30 am tomorrow.
[Alan Hughes, Treasurer, Friends of Quantock]Posted 6 years agosharkiMember
I’m presently sat in county hall looking at maps of the 3 proposed areas to be sold off.
Great wood is the bulk of it, spanning the while of the forestry from the. slades north east if wills neck which is the DH area, right up to the tree line running east and west from dead woman’s ditch.
This area is open access and leased by I assume the FC.
area two, is all land north of the tree line up to the road from crowcombe to over stowey, extending from both cattle grids along that road.
This area contains common land, SSSI, open access, and actiove CSS Whatever that is! It’s meant to say Active CSS and is one of a few typos on the map.
The 3rd area comes as a suprise. all land from halsway post, down the combe and just past the quarry, then north west as far as paradise and then up to the main ridge track and back to the post.
This contains a few BW used by cyclists.
My concern that any sell off could open the doors to further selling of the land at future times.
Votchy.Posted 6 years ago
But did he tell you more about why and how the proposals wouldn’t effect users of the area?
or did he avoid those potential questions?
Well done Sharki – it sounds far worse than Huxtable was saying this morning on the radio, still unsure of the impact on cyclists and walkers but! no one will buy it unless they can impose their views on the area even if they lease it back to FC so restrictions to access some parts and poor maintenance of the area will inevitably follow- Friends of Quantocks seem to be gathering momentum to protest.
Clearly we need all on STW to write the the address given above by the 23rd DecemberPosted 6 years agojamesoSubscriber
Read this – related?Posted 6 years ago
Have signed the petition Jameso
Can we support the Friends of Quantocks by writing to County hall to raise our objections to the selling off of the ‘family silver’ once its gone its gone!! [profound statement there!!]Posted 6 years ago
Good report from Rondo thanks for that – will be eager to watch the local news tonight
I’d guess Triscombe (where most of the off-piste DH trails are) to be worth about £150,000. Find 100 people willing to chip £1500 in … place the land in trust and peeps can buy in or out based on their share in the land.
Probably even a better investment than savings in a bank at the moment.Posted 6 years ago
Millions have been wasted on ‘South West one’ and the new ‘fire centre’ that sits empty and costing thousands of pounds a day even though its not used – this money could have saved any cuts – anyway thats another story the focus now is to save the quantocks as Friends of Quantocks say from the BBC news
“Letiticia Kelly, chair of the Friends of the Quantocks, said they were concerned about the management of the land under private ownership.
“All the rights of way would have to stay and all the conditions of public access would have to stay,” she said.
“So whoever buys it would have to be very publicly spirited because it’s not a money spinner any of these pieces of land.”
Are there any public spirited people with that kind of money – unless of course a nice little ‘tax dodge’ for someonePosted 6 years agodruidhMember
anotherdeadhero – Member
> Not that I wish to intrude on private grief, but surely
> even the current access laws apply regardless of land owner?
Yes indeed they do.
In which case, what’s the big deal? Land in Scotland changes ownership frequently and potential owners have to deal with more onerous access laws.Posted 6 years ago
In which case, what’s the big deal? Land in Scotland changes ownership frequently
Maybe so, but as a native of these ‘ere parts (somerset), I don’t much care for off-loading this kind of asset, on the vague excuse of funding for capital projects. It’s an utterly short-termist move, IMO.
County politics tend to be a depressing reflection of parlimentary themes – and it’s positively vomit-inducing to watch local tories spout on about the Big Society and other bullsh1te du jour, whilst creaming themselves about having a big ol’ ideological yardsale. Somerset wasn’t hit especially hard in the latest round of Government grants (e.g. see the arguments concerning library services), and there’s no sensible rationale for selling-off areas of woodland that form part of the Quantock AONB…. especially when they fail to grip stuff like the SouthWestOne nonsense, as above.
Anyway, here’s the ad:
Posted 6 years agochr15Member
My letter of objection went today. Also handed a copy to Wells constituency MP who wasn’t happy at the plans (she hadn’t been aware of the plans but her team were: They also seemed pretty confident the proposed sale wouldn’t be successful) and assured me she’d be raising her objection. The team confirmed that some land on Mendip was earmarked for disposal but didn’t say where…
Fingers crossed now…!Posted 6 years agoEdric 64Member
As a mountain biker and walker I amongst others am very concerned at the proposed sell off of amenity land owned by the council to raise a small amount of money which will barely scratch the debt that irresponsiblitiy in the past has allowed to mount up.I know my MP Tessa Munt is unhappy at these proposals as are many users of the Somerset countryside .Having to lodge formal complaint by 23rd of December strikes of trying to railroad through proposals with little opposition very near Christmas .I hope the council will reconsider these proposals
Regards Edric Hobbs
Just sent thisPosted 6 years agomrmoMember
I don’t know the whole details, but from what is currently happening at a local riding spot to me, search from Cranham there is a thread.
The new owners are perfectly within there rights to ban bike access from any PERMISSIVE paths, if there is statutory bridleway your fine it is just those bits that have been ridden into existence by bikes that you can be banned from.Posted 6 years agotimberMember
druid h is correct, RoW will remain, they are Highways responsibilty.
Off piste in the woods is not so guaranteed, but considering the BBC report suggests only the leasee can offer to buy it, currently the FC, nothing will change.
I have no idea who would want to buy it (apart from the woodland, but that has a restricted market).Posted 6 years ago
Thankyou to all who responded to my original post – raisning awareness of Somersets plan to sell off part of the Quantocks.
There is still the on line petition you cab sign along with the 2000+ who already signed.
Friends of Quantocks are doing loads to try to protest – visit their website.Posted 6 years agosharkiMember
When we handed in the signed petitions to county hall after the demo, a spoken said when asked what would happen next said. “A board meeting will be held to look at the objections and we’d go from there whether there’s a strong enough argument to why we not sell the parcels of land” He then said that the board will be made up of members of various department with in county hall and that no members of the public are likely to be there. Not even AONB or FC.
What seems to of pissed most people off, is the way in which the council quietly put the proposals forward and the short deadline to get objections in, initially only postal objections were accepted, which at this time of year seems madness.
Dibbs, what do you know of about the tunnels from Hinkley deep under Cannington disposing of nuclear waste, another hush hush thing that never got officially announced? I’m only going by what i’ve been told, so this may or may not be an actual truth.
A good article on the sell off here on a walking forum/site.ukhillwalkingPosted 6 years ago
The topic ‘Quantocks to be sold off by Somerset CC’ is closed to new replies.