Fence permitted on limestone beauty-spot

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We are dismayed that the Planning Inspectorate has permitted an application from the Farleton Knott Commoners’ Association for a 550-metre fence along the west side of Puddlemire Lane across Farleton Knott common, in Cumbria, for a period of ten years.

This limestone hill is of outstanding natural beauty and interest for its geology and flora and fauna, and the public has the right to walk there. The application was for works on common land under section 38 of the Commons Act 2006 and we objected because the fence will interfere with people’s enjoyment of this open landscape.

Limestone pavement

Limestone pavement

NW end of common from Holme

NW end of common from Holme

The commoners want to introduce grazing and prevent unauthorised access by mountain and trail bikes.

Says Ian Brodie, our Cumbria representative: ‘The Open Spaces Society recognises the importance of appropriate grazing on this extensive area, especially given the interest in the flora and the limestone pavement which are so special. However, we are greatly disappointed that the Planning Inspectorate, on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Environment, has allowed a damaging scheme to go forward when there had been no consultation with interested parties to try to find a more acceptable way of achieving a shared objective.’

The fell has been recommended by Natural England for inclusion in the Arnside-Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty because of its splendid qualities.

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