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Scottish Outdoor Access Code
"Duncan Gray" wrote in
"Tim Downie" wrote in message
Proposed code is published today. You can read it at
www.snh.org.uk/soac. For those NOT in Scotland - read it and weep!
When it comes to public rights of way I have to say that I think the
situation in Scotland is miserable. Only 1% are declared legal by
the courts and the rest are in a legal limbo.
Whilst a general presumed right of access might seem better, I'd love
all rights of ways in Scotland validated by the courts and recorded
by the OS on scottish maps.
The version of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code published today
represents the final stage of the process to enshrine the right of
access to almost all land in Scotland. This is considerably better
than having these rights restricted to narrow rights of way which, in
a Scottish context are almost pointless.
For anyone who hasn't been paying attention, the original proposals
for the new law were published by the Scottish Executive during the
momentous last week of February 2001. (I won't bring back the pain by
reminding you all what else was momentous about that and the following
weeks.) The original proposals were pretty bad, and a huge response
from the public to the consultation, allied to the GOMLs shooting
themselves in the foot, led to a much improved draft which was finally
passed into law by parliament, almost a year ago today.
The final stage before the access rights contained in the bill come
into force is tthe formulation of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code by
SNH. The new version will be submitted to the Scottish Executive who
can accept, reject or amend it, following which it will be debated in
parliament and finally passed.
If everything goes well, the new law could finally be in force by this
(Did anyone else notice that this week the GOMLs union, the Scottish
Landowners' Federation, decided to rename itself the pithy "Scottish
Rural P roperty and Business Association Ltd". One member in favour of
the change was Patrick Gordon-Duff-Pennington who is quoted as saying
"A long name has never troubled me." )
Yes, you have to see the funny side!
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