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The society has objected to an application from the Mulgrave Estate for nearly a mile of new fencing on Ugthorpe Common near Whitby in the North York Moors National Park. This is in addition to a retrospective application to replace more than two miles of fencing on the common.
The estate applied to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, under section 38 of the Commons Act 2006, for works on common land. It is unlawful to erect fencing on a common without such consent.
The society has sent a strong objection to the Planning Inspectorate, which determines such applications on behalf of the environment secretary. It has pointed out that in the North York Moors National Park the protection of natural beauty and promotion of public enjoyment are paramount, yet this fencing would subdivide the common and be an ugly intrusion, restricting public access.
Says Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary: ‘We are dismayed by this application which would result in a severe impact on people’s enjoyment of this open moorland. They have the right to walk over the whole area, as well as on the footpaths and bridleways which cross the common. The fencing would damage the natural beauty of this sweeping moor.
‘Local people have also objected to this fencing, because their interests are adversely affected. We trust the Planning Inspectorate will respect the views of the society and the local community and will reject this damaging proposal.’