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A fence too far

February 12, 2015

Pleased to see Kate Ashbrook’s thoughts on the fencing threat to Thirlmere.

CampaignerKate

In 1878 the Commons Preservation Society opposed the Manchester Corporation’s scheme to make Thirlmere in the Lake District into a reservoir and use the surrounding commons to collect the water.  Since people had always enjoyed free access to the fells, the society feared that the corporation would try to exclude them.  By threatening opposition to the corporation’s private bill the society won a clause to protect free access in exchange for withdrawing its objection.

Thus, section 62 of the Manchester Corporation Waterworks Act 1879 rules that access to the surrounding fells ‘shall not be in any manner restricted or interfered with by the corporation’.

Consent
The corporation is now United Utilities which is well aware of the legislation governing this part of its land.  Nevertheless it has applied to the Planning Inspectorate for consent for works on the common, those works consisting of nearly ten kilometres of fencing, right across the…

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