Footpath information

brian ovens made this Freedom of Information request to Clackmannanshire Council

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Dear Clackmannanshire Council,

FOI request re: right to roam on Harviestoun Estate under the terms of The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003.
In terms of the above, please answer the following queries:
Q1:
I note that Harviestoun Estate now claims that the path along the front of the farm is now a 'private garden' and that signs now redirect people to an alternative route. Is this legal in terms of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 and, if not, what action will Clackmannanshire Council take against Harviestoun Home Farm?
Q2
Can you confirm that this is in actual fact being done on the basis of it being 'a farmyard'. However, please note that although farmyards are not included in the right of access, people may still take access through farmyards by rights of way, custom or tradition. Clearly this is a well-established right of way by custom and tradition. Furthermore, even although it is not a 'core path' it does not mean that under the access code people still can't use it. Who at Clackmannanshire Council is responsible for supporting Harviestoun Estate in the misinterpretation of the legislation?
Q3
If Clacks Council remain convinced that Harviestoun Home Farm can 'block' access along the said route, how enforceable is the legislation and what are the penalties for those refusing to use the alternative route?
Q4
Have taxpayers funded the signs on the estate?
Q5
Have taxpayers funded the new alternative route?
Q6
Has Harviestoun Estate contributed anything towards any costs?
Q7
Please provide a transcription of all telephone conversations between Harviestoun Estate relating to all of this.
Q8
Please provide copies of any letters, memos, e-mails and minutes of meetings between Clackmannanshire Council and Harviestoun Estate relating to all of this.
Q9
Please also provide a note of the costs for the signs regarding the alternative path.

I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.

Yours faithfully,

Brian Ovens

CustomerService, Clackmannanshire Council

Thankyou for your enquiry this request has been forwarded to FOI team who
will be in touch with yourself directly
With Regards

Customer Service Advisor
Customer Contact Centre
01259 45 00 00

brian ovens To FOI requests at
<[FOI #114722 email]> Clackmannanshire Council
<[Clackmannanshire Council request email]>
25/04/2012 08:53 cc
Subject Freedom of Information request
- Footpath information

     Dear Clackmannanshire Council,
   
    FOI request re: right to roam on Harviestoun Estate under the terms
    of The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003.
    In terms of the above, please answer the following queries:
    Q1:
    I note that Harviestoun Estate now claims that the path along the
    front of the farm is now a 'private garden' and that signs now
    redirect people to an alternative route. Is this legal in terms of
    the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 and, if not, what action will
    Clackmannanshire Council take against Harviestoun Home Farm?
    Q2
    Can you confirm that this is in actual fact being done on the basis
    of it being 'a farmyard'. However, please note that although
    farmyards are not included in the right of access, people may still
    take access through farmyards by rights of way, custom or
    tradition. Clearly this is a well-established right of way by
    custom and tradition. Furthermore, even although it is not a 'core
    path' it does not mean that under the access code people still
    can't use it. Who at Clackmannanshire Council is responsible for
    supporting Harviestoun Estate in the misinterpretation of the
    legislation?
    Q3
    If Clacks Council remain convinced that Harviestoun Home Farm can
    'block' access along the said route, how enforceable is the
    legislation and what are the penalties for those refusing to use
    the alternative route?
    Q4
    Have taxpayers funded the signs on the estate?
    Q5
    Have taxpayers funded the new alternative route?
    Q6
    Has Harviestoun Estate contributed anything towards any costs?
    Q7
    Please provide a transcription of all telephone conversations
    between Harviestoun Estate relating to all of this.
    Q8
    Please provide copies of any letters, memos, e-mails and minutes of
    meetings between Clackmannanshire Council and Harviestoun Estate
    relating to all of this.
    Q9
    Please also provide a note of the costs for the signs regarding the
    alternative path.
   
    I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.
   
    Yours faithfully,
   
    Brian Ovens
   
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
   
    Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
    [FOI #114722 email]
   
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Ann Nisbet, Clackmannanshire Council

1 Attachment

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| Clackmannanshire Council, Greenfield, Alloa, Clackmannanshire FK10 ||
| 2AD ||
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To:
Mr. Brian Ovens Contact: Ann Nisbet
Tel. No: 01259 450000
Ref: SER04684E6
Date: 25/04/2012

Dear Mr. Ovens

Freedom of Information : SER04684E6

I acknowledge receipt of your request for information which was received
on 25/04/2012 about information on the right to roam on Harviestoun Estate
under the terms of The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003. It will be
forwarded to the appropriate Council Service for action and you should
receive a response, or a request for clarification by 24/05/2012. If there
is a need to clarify anything relating to your request, colleagues will
contact you.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.

Yours sincerely

Ann Nisbet

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References

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Ann Nisbet, Clackmannanshire Council

6 Attachments

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| Clackmannanshire Council, Greenfield, Alloa, Clackmannanshire FK10 ||
| 2AD ||
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To:
Mr. Brian Ovens Contact: Martin Dean
Tel. No: 01259 452000
Ref: SER04684E6
Date: 02/05/2012

Dear Mr. Ovens

Freedom of Information Enquiry: SER04684E6

Thank you for your information request dated 25/04/2012.

I am happy to supply you with the information you requested.

Q1 I note that Harviestoun Estate now claims that the path along the front
of the farm is now a 'private garden' and that signs now redirect people
to an alternative route. Is this legal in terms of the Land Reform
(Scotland) Act 2003 and, if not, what action will Clackmannanshire Council
take against Harviestoun Home Farm?
The signs direct people away from the farmyard. Access rights do not apply
to farmyards c.f. section 6(1) of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 (the
Act). The Scottish Outdoor Access Code states that "if a reasonable,
passable alternative route is signposted around the farmyard and
buildings, then you should follow this".
The signs relating to "private garden" were installed by the land manager
and are located to the south west of the farmyard - in an area which
contains the site of the former castle, a tennis court and pavillion. The
land manager is hoping to reinstate this area as a garden. The Council has
a duty, under section 13 of the Act to uphold access rights and has powers
(under section 14 of the Act) to take remedial action against prohibition
signs, although it should be noted that access rights do not (under
section 6(1) of the Act) extend to gardens. Discussions regarding the
extent of the garden area and the "private garden" signs are currently
taking place with the land manager. Should these discussions prove
inconclusive, it is my intention to seek the advice of Clackmannanshire
Access Forum.

Q2 Can you confirm that this is in actual fact being done on the basis of
it being 'a farmyard'. However, please note that although farmyards are
not included in the right of access, people may still take access through
farmyards by rights of way, custom or tradition. Clearly this is a
well-established right of way by custom and tradition. Furthermore, even
although it is not a 'core path' it does not mean that under the access
code people still can't use it. Who at Clackmannanshire Council is
responsible for supporting Harviestoun Estate in the misinterpretation of
the legislation?
The route through the farmyard is not a right of way or a core path.
Clackmannan District Council employed an Officer to investigate and assert
rights of way - the route through Harviestoun Home Farm was not asserted
because it was not considered to meet the rights of way criteria. The Core
Paths Plan was adopted after formal and informal consultations which were
in keeping with the Act and the advice given by the Scottish Government,
Scottish Natural Heritage and Paths For All. The recommended route around
the farmyard is being promoted because access rights do not apply to
farmyards and because it is a safe and reasonable alternative.
Clackmannanshire Council work with land managers and access takers alike,
advising both on matters relating to outdoor access.

Q3 If Clacks Council remain convinced that Harviestoun Home Farm can
'block' access along the said route, how enforceable is the legislation
and what are the penalties for those refusing to use the alternative
route?
It would be up to the land manager to take action against anybody taking
access through the farmyard and for the courts to decide on any penalties.

Q4 Have taxpayers funded the signs on the estate?
The Council has installed metal signs on public roads which direct people
onto core paths which pass through Harviestoun Estate. Some plastic posts
with waymarkers have also been installed. Note that this is in keeping
with signage of core paths thoughout Clackmannanshire. The 4 (laminated)
signs that publicise the route which avoids the farmyard were produced by
the Council.

Q5 Have taxpayers funded the new alternative route?
The track (path) which is promoted on the signs as the alternative route
was constructed by the land manager. No contributions were made by the
Council.

Q6 Has Harviestoun Estate contributed anything towards any costs?
Clackmannanshire Council has funded roadside metal signs and waymarkers
for core paths, and laminated signs. The Council has not contributed
anything towards the cost of other signs or to the construction of the
track which avoids the farmyard. Exactly what Harviestoun Estate
contributed is a question that should be directed to the Estate.

Q7 Please provide a transcription of all telephone conversations between
Harviestoun Estate relating to all of this.
Having checked our records, I can confirm under section 17 of the Freedom
of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, that the information requested is not
held. This is because transcripts of telephone conversations do not exist.

Q8 Please provide copies of any letters, memos, e-mails and minutes of
meetings between Clackmannanshire Council and Harviestoun Estate relating
to all of this.
The information held is limited to e mails - there are no letters, memos
or minutes held. E mails and the attachments within them are attached
below.
Under section 38 of the Act, I have withheld any personal information
related to individuals that was contained in the emails, this is
information such as names, phone numbers, personal e mail addresses, etc.

See attachments

Q9 Please also provide a note of the costs for the signs regarding the
alternative path.
Costs are for the laminated signs only. Material cost is ca £2 per sign.
There are 4 signs posted and 8 spares. Totral cost ca £24.

I hope the above answers your questions.

Yours sincerely

Martin Dean

(See attached file: FOI Enquiry Ref No SERO4684E6 300412.doc)(See attached
file: Harviestoun diversion 2 300312.doc)(See attached file: LLTNP
Lambing_Conic_Hill_2010.pdf)(See attached file:
DRAFT_Take_Care_Signage_A3L_HHF_2012-04-17.pdf)(See attached file:
DRAFT_Take_Care_Signage_A3L_HHF_2012-04-18.pdf)

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| If you are not satisfied with this response, you may contact the |
| Council’s Head of Strategy and Customer Services seeking a review of |
| your request within 40 working days of receiving the response (the |
| address is: Clackmannanshire Council, Greenfield, Alloa FK10 2AD. |
| (Email address: [email address]). If you are not satisfied |
| with the outcome of the review you have the right to appeal directly |
| to The Scottish Information Commissioner, Kinburn Castle, Doubledykes |
| Road, St. Andrews, Fife KY16 9DS. |
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References

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