How dare bridge blockers chop my property in half! Farmer faces losing access to part of his land

A farmer faces losing access to a chunk of his land under plans by highways bosses to fill in an old railway bridge he uses for access.

The scheme would split Iain Gow’s land ‘in two’ – leaving part of it with ‘completely no access at all’.

Government-owned Highways England plans to fill in 69 old bridges it claims are unsafe over the next five years but has refused to reveal which are on its hit list.

Iain Gow, a retired university lecturer and smallholder whose 11-acre farm is set to be split in half by Highways England's plans to fill in an old rail bridge

Iain Gow, a retired university lecturer and smallholder whose 11-acre farm is set to be split in half by Highways England's plans to fill in an old rail bridge

Iain Gow, a retired university lecturer and smallholder whose 11-acre farm is set to be split in half by Highways England’s plans to fill in an old rail bridge

The bridge, dating back to 1870, is also used by deer and badgers. The scheme would split Iain Gow¿s land ¿in two¿ ¿ leaving part of it with ¿completely no access at all¿

The bridge, dating back to 1870, is also used by deer and badgers. The scheme would split Iain Gow¿s land ¿in two¿ ¿ leaving part of it with ¿completely no access at all¿

The bridge, dating back to 1870, is also used by deer and badgers. The scheme would split Iain Gow’s land ‘in two’ – leaving part of it with ‘completely no access at all’

MPs say the secrecy is preventing members of the public from making representations before the structures are lost.

It comes after outrage when a 159-year-old bridge at Great Musgrave, Cumbria, was buried last month beneath tons of concrete – costing taxpayers £124,000.

Now it has emerged that a 150-year-old bridge used by Mr Gow to access two acres of his 11-acre farm stands to be lost, with Highways England offering no alternative arrangements.

Despite raising concerns about the plans for the bridge in Kirtlebridge, Dumfries and Galloway, smallholder Mr Gow said the company had shown no interest in speaking to him and had offered ‘no compromise’.

The retired university lecturer, 62, added that the stone bridge is used by badgers and deer whose movements would also be affected by its loss. Mr Gow said: ‘It’s not just access for myself and any tenants I let the fields out to, it’s also a pretty active wildlife corridor.’

He first became aware of the plans by Highways England – which is responsible for old railway structures in England, Scotland and Wales – ‘almost exactly a year ago’.

Mr Gow said: ‘It was almost by accident. A letter arrived addressed to my late mother, who had died the year before, asking to do a wildlife survey and informing us that they were planning to do some repairs’.

But the ‘repairs’ turned out to be a complete infilling of the railway bridge.

He has since complained to his local MP and is also speaking to his lawyers to see if there is any way to halt the work.

Conservative Huw Merriman, chairman of the Commons transport committee, accused the company of ¿routinely refusing to provide any information to members of the public¿

Conservative Huw Merriman, chairman of the Commons transport committee, accused the company of ¿routinely refusing to provide any information to members of the public¿

Conservative Huw Merriman, chairman of the Commons transport committee, accused the company of ‘routinely refusing to provide any information to members of the public’

He added: ‘I hope it won’t go to court and that something can be agreed. If they go ahead as planned, two acres of the farm are going to be landlocked with completely no access at all.’ Mr Gow’s criticism comes as MPs also questioned Highways England’s policy on bridge infills and demolition.

In a letter last month, Conservative Huw Merriman, chairman of the Commons transport committee, accused the company of ‘routinely refusing to provide any information to members of the public’ about demolition or infilling of old bridges.

He added: ‘We are concerned this may prevent community groups and other interested parties from making representations about structures of importance to them.’

Highways England can go ahead with works without planning permission under permitted development rights claiming the situation is an ‘emergency’.

The company said it could not issue a list of threatened bridges because it ‘changes all the time’ and that ‘stakeholders’, such as groups wishing to revive old railways, were informed.

Link hienalouca.com

Advertising:

Tips to Find Low Priced Luxury Holiday Package Deals Fast

For most families, it has already been a common practice to spend the Holiday season in a foreign location. This is caused by the aviation market changes which have given a lot of benefits for people who travel a lot. Airfares going to different tourist destinations are becoming more inexpensive. What does this mean? If there is a perfect time to purchase luxury holiday package deals, now it the right time! Based on the market trend nowadays, you can save both money and time when you go for a luxury holiday. There are countless offers that combine travel and accommodation in one package which is a lot cheaper than getting separate deals. Aside from that, it is also risky to individually book the services that you need for the vacation. You might end up missing out on some important details of the trip. Unlike when you take advantage of luxury holiday package deals, you can be sure that everything is organized meticulously and according to what you really need. Nonetheless, you would still need to carefully select the package that would fit your needs. Review the following tips in getting packages that are reasonably priced. · Normally, luxury tour packages include accommodation, flight travel and transportation to individual tourist destinations. It would be best to choose the complete package so you won’t have to worry about other vacation elements. In addition to that, these are the packages that have the biggest discounts. · You can get big mark down prices, if you will purchase more packages. It is not a bad idea to share the wonderful moment with your loved ones. By doing so, you would not only enjoy, you will also save more money. You can even use your savings for other activities on your vacation. · It would be best to know how much you are willing to pay for the luxury tour packages. You can already work around your budget. You have to stick to your budget. If not, you might end up spending a lot and you will be left with less money for your vacation. · Prices may vary depending on the destination of the tour. You can do a research about places that are attractive yet inexpensive. There are thousands of destinations and you just have to choose wisely. · There are packages that include recreational activities. This means that you are paying for all the activities when you purchase these packages. The right thing to do is to make sure that the activities that are included would be the ones that you really enjoy. There is no sense in paying for activities that will not really make your vacation memorable. If you are going with friends, you should also consider their preferences so that you can be sure that everyone will enjoy the trip. There are other ways on how you can be sure that you are getting the best deal for your luxury holiday vacation. No matter how you choose to do it, you have to get adequate information about the packages. This will help you determine whether it is worth the price.

(Total views: 61 Time, 1 visits per day)

Leave a Reply