Alliance seek meeting with National Trust

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Sunday, May 27th, 2012
Alliance Newcastle Councillor Patrick Clarke has sought an urgent meeting with officials from the National Trust regarding their proposed plans to end a special relationship with Dundrum villagers regarding access to Murlough nature reserve car parks in Dundrum. The local Councillor has also written to the National Trust Property Manager with responsibility for Murlough Nature Reserve on behalf of Dundrum villagers who hold residents’ passes about the proposed axing of the special rate of £26 to enter the nature reserve car parks. The National Trust is planning to abolish the ‘residents’ pass’ which allows villagers access to the nature reserve car parks for £26 per year. At present, there are approximately over 200 passes, the majority of which are held by Dundrum residents some of which are senior citizens. Clarke says the lack of consultation by the National Trust with local Dundrum villager pass holders who use Murlough Nature Reserve car park regarding the abolishment of resident passes is ‘most unreasonable’ and ‘very short sighted’. Clarke stated, “I have been contacted by villagers who presently hold resident permit passes to access Murlough nature reserve car parks at the proposed plans by the National Trust to abolish the residents’ pass in favour of full National Trust membership at over £50. Already a wooden cabin has been placed at the security entrance gate to Murlough showing the proposed charges so the National Trust is obviously intent on proceeding with the new charges to access the car parks irrespective of local opinion and concern to the decision.” He added, “I believe that this new charge by the National Trust will deter many long standing villagers who have purchased the residents pass annually to access the car parks at Murlough Nature Reserve and who have enjoyed walking the beautiful dune landscape from purchasing National Trust membership on a point of principal. I have made written representations to the National Trust regarding their proposals on implementing a new system of charging to villagers wishing to access the reserve carp parks and the abolishment of the long standing residents pass.”
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