Saturday, 16 June 2007

Privacy Zone 2

So, why is the previously-mentioned Gloag case so important? Well, it allows landowners to play the system. What's to stop a landowner from extending the ‘Sufficient adjacent land’ and 'policies' (allowed by the Land Reform Act) to include all of the wild places they own? Under Sheriff Fletcher's decision, very little, if you can show that you are concerned about your right to privacy. (link to full text)

para 63

...the court had to have regard to what the home owner contended was sufficient land adjacent to the house for the purposes of the exemption and where there was credible and reliable evidence that a particular use of a particular part of the land adjacent to the house contributed to the enjoyment of the house of those living in it, and that for uninvited strangers to have free access to that area of land would disturb that enjoyment...

In these days of quad bikes and mountain bikes - what one person considers 'adjacent land' (allowed by the Act) for enjoyment is different to what you might consider. If someone enjoyed letting wolves roam free on their estate, there seems little to stop them fencing off a large section and just releasing the hounds - just so long as you can see it from your own house, or summerhouses (part of the 'policies' allowed by the Act).

I have no intention to visit the Gloag home, nor walk around the unfenced sections. But other cases are coming to court, and there is the chance that case law will continue to knock holes in the law.

We've already seen that with wild camping - but I covered that in a previous article.