For anyone near Bolton Abbey the CTC have an interesting campaign kicking off around access. The duke was given tax exemptions for providing access which the CTC doesnt seem to think have been kept (on a broader note it would be nice to see who else gets exemptions and whether we are really getting value for money).
Closing any outdoor access in the name of Covid is fatuous, especially now that the risks (or lack of) for outdoor transmission are well known.
The Duke has a similar get-off-my-land approach and signs for the Chatsworth estate in the Peak.
He sure don't like us peasants on his land.
> The Duke has a similar get-off-my-land approach and signs for the Chatsworth estate in the Peak.
> He sure likes us pheasants on his land.
I'm fairly sure Wentworth Fitzwilliam around Sheffield and Rotherham has the highest number of private and no entry signs per sq foot on earth.
Ok, I'm going to stick my head above the parapet and offer the flipside, and comment on the matter of access on the bridge, not the wider issue of public benefit as a result of IHT and charitable status.
The bridge is a permissive path, the clue is in the description of the path. That makes it different from a normal right of way. Without knowing the terms of the agreement of the permissive path, it's difficult to comment.
I am local (ish) to Bolton Abbey. I happen to be a charity trustee of a charity a long way from Yorkshire which is a sizeable estate, a lot of it arable & farmland (including conservation and land management consideratons) with a lot of rights of way and permissive paths. The trustees do our utmost to encourage public access and engagement, but we have to juggle many balls at different times. I'd bet there are quite a few other charity trustees on UKHW who also have to balance priorities for their charities that might lead to a temporary outcome that they prefer was otherwise.
> The bridge is a permissive path, the clue is in the description of the path. That makes it different from a normal right of way.
The clue is in the inheritence tax exemptions for providing access. So deciding to ignore that and explain what "permissive" means doesnt really add much.
Although does raise a question in itself. Should something which is required to get a tax exemption be marked as permissive or have specific markings to indicate it isnt being done simply to be a good neighbour?
Does permissive access have to include cyclists and does it have to include the ability to take a shortcut to a cafe on a bike?
Is the bridge closed to everyone or is it still possible to walk over it?
I wasn't ignoring the IHT issue, I just wasn't entering into it, it can be complex and probably full facts are not in the public domain. I wanted to pick out the access issue. AIUI, and IANAL, the agreements on IHT relief and gifting items to the state (if that's what happened) are often individual agreements.
> Does permissive access have to include cyclists and does it have to include the ability to take a shortcut to a cafe on a bike?
If it was truly permissive access then obviously not but in this case it is access in return for inheritence tax exemptions. The CTC argument is that the estate isnt living up to its obligations under that. They arent saying the estate cant withdraw access just that if it does then it shouldnt get an exemption.
As for a "short cut" given its a bridge it does mean the longer way is, well, rather long and given the other end looks to be on the same estate possibly not at all.
> I wasn't ignoring the IHT issue, I just wasn't entering into it, it can be complex and probably full facts are not in the public domain. I wanted to pick out the access issue.
The problem is the access issue and the IHT are fundamentally linked in this case. So you cant really pick out the access without addressing the rest.
> The problem is the access issue and the IHT are fundamentally linked in this case. So you cant really pick out the access without addressing the rest.
I'd tend to agree with you. But without seeing the terms of the agreement between the donor and HMRC to mitigate IHT (and I have no idea whether that's a public or private document), it's tricky to know what was agreed to and what the obligations are.
Yes it's a short cut, but the bigger issue is that the alternative route is a very busy A road that cyclists quite rightly would prefer to avoid.
The BBC have taken an interest - they were there on Sunday apparently, not sure if it will do any good. Lots of local cyclists (of which I am one) are more likely to vote with their feet and avoid the cafes owned by the estate. Won't matter during Covid but on a cold non Covid Saturday morning most of their trade is passing cyclists. Abbey Team rooms is much nicer and better value anyway.
But the abbey tea rooms are also owned by the estate yes? And much like the general direction of the management of the area to block or remove safe parking or access in the area then it’s a case of drive and pay to park at exorbitant rates or don’t use this large part of mid wharfedale at all.
But Hey, give me the a tax break devised to get round the normal IH Tax rules which apply to everyone else, I just need to chuck a bit of gravel on a few paths is what Duke of D says. Just don’t try to get in or across without paying a tenner.
The bridge in question is a great link between 2 roads up wharfedale, oh and there’s an over priced cafe at one side.
Its on a “ private “ estate But it should be a national treasure we shouldn’t be begging to push, walk or do hand stands to cross it.
The Duke of Devonshire has an estimated net worth of £800million... I really don't think he's bothered about missing out on a few cups of coffee and occasional flapjack sale.
In the past I've not always thought my CTC membership was worthwhile but will them challenging this and the closure of the Humber Bridge I'm glad I still pay my subs.
Although this is a specific example, the DofD estates often seem ready to limit access, so this seems in keeping with a general ethos.
There have been other issues in the Dales with access being restricted despite IHT agreements. If HMRC are going to agree to this there needs to be some thought as to what access (ie more than the CROW minimum), how it is publicised, how that is monitored and how the access is agreed (eg not trying to make 'applicants' pay huge legal bills to discuss details of access - which is why it is good larger bodies like UKCycling getting invollved is good).