‘Clarification and legal opinion must be given to National Park concerns’ – Clarke

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Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
Alliance Newcastle Councillor Patrick Clarke has urged the Minister for the Environment to give full clarification and outline the legal rights and implications for farmers and landowners regarding their land being designated for National Park status within the Mournes area. Speaking to Newry Times, Clarke stated, “There are a very significant number of farmers and land owners who are deeply concerned at the implications and restrictions they would face if National Park status was awarded to the Mournes and Slieve Croob which is already an area of outstanding natural beauty.” “Clarification and legal opinion as to the rights of farmers and landowners regarding their land being part of a National Park needs to be addressed publicly by the Minister for the Environment.” He continued, “Areas such as planning permission for both dwellings and farm buildings, rates, insurance implications should the general public sue a farmer or landowner, public rights of way across farms, all of these issues to my mind have not been addressed adequately to give farmers and land owners clarification.” “There is clearly a strong majority of farmers and landowners who feel that a National Park within the Mournes and Slieve Croob would weigh them down in a field of bureaucracy and red tape as well as governmental control of their land.” Clarke added, “The Minister for the Environment needs to outline publicly how a National Park will impact on the daily lives and financial incomes of farmers and land owners living within a National Park. “Politicians simply telling farmers and land owners the benefits of a National Park and ignoring the disadvantages and restrictions is disingenuous and will only lead to stronger opposition to a National Park within the Mournes and Slieve Croob.” More on this story: The big debate: Mournes National Park divides opinion
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