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Stop The Sale of Public Land and Forests in the UK

Councils in the UK own million of acres of land. Led by Somerset County Council, many are now considering privatising their public land and forests in a move which could dwarf the Government's attempted sell-off of the forests earlier in 2011. Somerset County Council has begun consulting on the sale of 2,000 acres of land in the Quantock Hills (the UK's first AONB), much of it Sites of Special Scientific Interest and forest. If Somerset County Council (SCC) is successful, other Councils are sure to follow. Help defeat SCC's privatisation plan and make sure that the forests sell-off doesn't happen by default in a piecemeal fashion.

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    Mike RigbyMike Rigby shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    74 comments

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      • AnonymousAnonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Such land should only be sold off if it has no public benefit, otherwise the mindless action of a moment will be to the cost of future generations forever more. Trust ownership etc. could be considered if public benefits are guaranteed in perpetuity.

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      • Tony MaggsTony Maggs commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Ref BBC Country File 20/5/12 : This sell off will also effect many tenant farmers who will be forced off their farms by Big Businesses who will buy up the land at prices tenant farmers will not be able to afford

      • AnonymousAnonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Our forests and public land are part of our precious countryside and are essential to the health, wellbeing, sanity and longevity of the general public, and everyone. This is our natural heritage and it would be criminal and barbaric to sell them off, so the rest of us have no rights of access to them anymore and meanwhile they are more likely to be destroyed by developers. How sad!! God gave the forests and natural habitats to us all to benefit from and appreciate and look after FOR A REASON! And councils have, in their position, a divine duty to heed things like this WITH THE GENERAL PUBLIC IN MIND and selling things like this off is CORRUPTION with a capital C. And what about the tourist industry? Imagine visitors from overseas coming over and being told: "sorry, this is private property" everywhere they turn and ultimately coming over to little but social housing estates and well tacky holiday homes!!

      • Augustus SatayuAugustus Satayu commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

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      • ImogenImogen commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        and the worst thing is, when these forests and woods are sold off they often go to the local wildlife trusts or similar conservation organisations, who then deforest -- in the case of East Anglia this is in order to create heathland. it is very likely this will happen to Knettishall Heath in Suffolk, for example. But when they are in the hands of charities and conservation organisations there is no democratic opportunity to challenge what they are doing. Definitely an important subject

      • AnonymousAnonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Has anybody yet queried as to why approximately 13% of the UK land mass is not included in the Land Register; and if not; to whom does it belong to?

      • Roger CartwrightRoger Cartwright commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Ownership is the best guarantee of protection for amenity land, particularly if it already belongs to the community (by inheritance) such as the historic 'customs' common on the Quantocks – this is another example of ‘selling the family silver’. Somerset County Council should drop this ill-considered, unjustified disposal of public land and concentrate on changes and reforms to reduce bureaucracy that can result in long-term savings and allow the continued evolution of sensible management (actively involving local interests) of one of its most valuable capital assets (scenery) and sensitive natural resources.

      • ChrisChris commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        And not ony in UK.Worldwide.forests belong to every human being.

      • AnonymousAnonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        If we don't sell off the country side how is corporate Britain supposed to expand and build homes for the new consumers we encourage to migrate here every day? How are councils going to generate new sources of income for their more corrupt members and create new sources of income for the private devlopers. Let's concrete and build over the whole of Britain at least it will stop soil erosion.

      • Louise Lappin-CookLouise Lappin-Cook commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The idea of these beautiful woodland areas being privately owned is nothing short of devastating. The Quantock Hills are at the heart of Somerset, providing an incredible AONB for the public to enjoy - this proposed sale appears to be very short term thinking.

      • DomspiralDomspiral commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        A terrible decision once again. The audacity of SCC to try and sneak this sale through with so little consultation & time to reply, just indicates the many battles we have ahead of us to keep 'our land'! The petition on the council's website is doing ok at just under 3,000. However, we need a bigger input from you guys if possible? Its not just the Quantocks but the Blackdown Hills too, - another AONB!

      • B B commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This cannot be allowed. We stopped the Government selling off forests but now the Localsm Bill has been passed Local Authorities have the right to do almost anything. I do not believe the current Council would have been elected if they had made known they were going to sell off our public spaces part of their manifesto.

      • AnonymousAnonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It is really sad that things have come to this. I hope that the strong public objection to this proposal will make SCC think twice about this public landsale, which will be of the detriment to the Somerset Countryside.

      • Bruce McLeanBruce McLean commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The comments posted so far say it all. The land belongs to the people of Somerset and should not be taken from them. I am totally opposed to the proposal

      • AnonymousAnonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I strongly object to the sale of this public land. There are job opportunities galore on this land and with a little imagination, SCC could really do some good instead of trying to gain a quick buck.

      • Simon ClarkSimon Clark commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Once the family silver has been sold it will most likely be broken up and lost forever. I strongly suggest that SCC looks at an alternative to this short term gain.

      • AnonymousAnonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is a bullying underhand attempt to change the nature of the Quantocks without any public consultation.
        I trust the reasons for this proposal will be made clear before any decision is made.

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