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Thread: Whaligoe steps

  1. #1
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    Default Whaligoe steps

    I heard a story that an english couple in ulbster are trying to lay claim to the carpark at the top of whaligoe as they say it is on their land and also the steps themselves, how ridiculous is that?
    The angry locals are up in arms.

  2. #2
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    Should be easy enough to sort out by reference to the deeds..... the land'll be registered now anyway if they're reasonably recent purchasers so anyone can examine the land records. If they own it, they own it. If they don't, they don't. It'll all be in the paperwork.

    Be a bit shortsighted, though, for someone who's just moved in (if that's the case) to overturn accepted local practice. Negotiation would seem to be the way to go.

    An Englishman.


  3. #3
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    If I remember right aren't the steps a wee bit away from the car park?Did the couple buy the house at the top of the steps?
    The people who bought Neisse point lighthouse on Skye tried to stop access down to it but failed miserably.Here's hoping the steps remain public access.
    Never judge someone until you have walked two moons in their moccasins.

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  4. #4
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    Calmed down a bit now.

    It is pretty damm ignorant if you ask me.
    Last edited by Naefearjustbeer; 23-Sep-06 at 18:17. Reason: calmed down

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuddlepop View Post
    If I remember right aren't the steps a wee bit away from the car park?Did the couple buy the house at the top of the steps?
    The people who bought Neisse point lighthouse on Skye tried to stop access down to it but failed miserably.Here's hoping the steps remain public access.
    As far as I know they have the house at the top of the steps.

  6. #6
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    Surely the fact that the steps have had public access since they were built then the status quo must remain. They would have a difficult job stopping folk from using them (legally that is) If they were to build a fence or try to block them in any way then that would be criminal. What about the folk that do maintenance on the steps what do they have to say on the matter?

  7. #7
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    Isn't there a Right to Roam in Scotland? Wouldn't the steps come under this Act? Sorry if I'm way off base here, but I'm woefully ignorant of Scottish law (colonials, you know...)

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    I guess the big problem will be if they do own it who is to maintain it? They probably cant and if it is unsafe then what?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockchick View Post
    Isn't there a Right to Roam in Scotland? Wouldn't the steps come under this Act? Sorry if I'm way off base here, but I'm woefully ignorant of Scottish law (colonials, you know...)
    We have the right of access to pretty much anywhere that you can get on foot, horseback or bicycle. Apart from certain restricted places such as somones garden, airports, MOD bases, Nuclear plant etc. If they are trying to say that the access to whaligeo steps is through there land then so what you are allowed on open land. As long as you are not commiting a crime. However if it is their garden then that might be a different situation all together.

  10. #10
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    I think that before anyone starts getting excited, the deeds to their property should be checked.

    If they own the land, they didn't make the law about whether someone has or has not access to the steps; they may just be exercising their legal rights.


  11. #11
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    JUst because you own a bit of land doesnt mean you have the right to stop access. That is the point that I am trying to make.

  12. #12
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    Copied from this site

    http://www.scotways.com/faqs/detail.php?catid=10#76

    7. Where do access rights not apply?
    The main places where access rights are not exercisable are:
    Houses and other residences, and sufficient space around them to give residents reasonable privacy and lack of disturbance – this will often be the garden area.
    Other buildings, works and structures, and the areas around them (curtilages).
    Land where crops are growing. Grass is not treated as a crop, except hay and silage in the late stages of growth. You can exercise access rights on field margins.
    Land next to and used by a school.
    Places, such as visitor attractions, which charge for entry.
    Land on which building or engineering works are being carried out, or which is being used for mineral working or quarrying.
    Land developed and in use for a particular recreational purpose, where the exercise of access rights would interfere with this use.
    Land set out for a particular recreational purpose or as a sports or playing field, when it is being used for that purpose and exercise of the rights would interfere with the use. But rights never apply to specially prepared sports surfaces – golf greens, tennis courts or bowling greens.

  13. #13
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    I would suspect that the Steps are a right of way through common usage. I'm no Legal Eagle, but I would suspect it would be very difficult to claim ownership of something which has been in constant use by the public for over two centuries.
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  14. #14
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    Excuse me, but Abdullah's original post said:

    couple in ulbster are trying to lay claim to the carpark at the top of whaligoe as they say it is on their land and also the steps themselves
    (my emboldening).

    This implies there's some dispute over whether they own it or not. The deeds will describe the land over which they have title. That's stage 1. Simple. Someone presumably owns the land, after all.

    Access rights get looked at after that, then rights of way, other burdens and so on.

    If Abdullah meant that they do own the land and what's happening is they're trying to stop others crossing it, that's different.


  15. #15
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    Yes they may own it all. Still doesnt mean they are allowed to restrict access.

  16. #16

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    Im sure that the access to Whaligoe will be a public right of way as is the access to Sarclet haven and to block access is to break the law. I also suspect that that Whaligoe is still classed as a Salmon fishing station (it was described as such in "the law of sea fishing in Scotland" )and there could well be access rights with that .
    Ill need to get into the library to make sure of it though
    I just dont get why people have to be so ackward about access ..the law is very clear about this in Scotland as has been described by Naefear etc If people have moved in from places who dont share our legal system then they should make themselves aquainted with it before "chancin thur hand"

  17. #17
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    Definition of a right of way from SNH - note requirement that two public places be linked. Back to the question of ownership....

    Outline of access rights - note restriction on houses and gardens and breach of privacy


    I just dont get why people have to be so ackward about access ..the law is very clear about this in Scotland as has been described by Naefear etc If people have moved in from places who dont share our legal system then they should make themselves aquainted with it before "chancin thur hand"
    I agree wholeheartedly about people who seem intent on overturning accepted local practice just for the sake of it, but for the record, don't believe it matters a rat's backside about whether they come from a "different legal system" or not. On the other hand, everyone - be they from the Scottish legal system or elsewhere - has "rights". A bit of restraint and a bit of balance and a bit of mutual understanding usually doen't go amiss in situations like this.

    Like starting right at the beginning and establishing whether they own the land in the first place!


  18. #18

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    Jabberwok The point Im making is that the law of access is different to that in the USA England Ireland etc etc and surely if you were to buy property in a place that uses a different legal system it is prudent to make yourself aquainted with the law in that place regarding mineral rights, hunting access (very common if the gound has been bought from an estate), access to archelogical sites etc etc . In fact you would have to be either daft not too !!
    As regards the folk who have bought the house as Naefear and your self have pointed out their rights of privicy garden rights etc should be upheld and protected equally in law according to their deeds
    However right of access law in Scotland is pretty clear as the folks at the lighthouse in Skye found out along with a lot of others who have tried to gate off public rights of ways both in town and country.
    Whaligoe had fishing boats working out of up until aprox 1970 (Wullie B Sinclair had one) and as I said in a previous post Im almost sure it is still classed as a salmon fishing station (there are pictures of salmon nets drying there from aprox 1960s in "Caithness a cultural crossroads") It would be interesting to see who actually owns Whaligoe if it is the same set up as at Sarclet haven then it will the estate with a public access through it to the haven

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter macdonald View Post
    Jabberwok The point Im making is that the law of access is different to that in the USA England Ireland etc etc and surely if you were to buy property in a place that uses a different legal system it is prudent to make yourself aquainted with the law in that place regarding mineral rights, hunting access (very common if the gound has been bought from an estate), access to archelogical sites etc etc . In fact you would have to be either daft not too !!
    As regards the folk who have bought the house as Naefear and your self have pointed out their rights of privicy garden rights etc should be upheld and protected equally in law according to their deeds
    However right of access law in Scotland is pretty clear as the folks at the lighthouse in Skye found out along with a lot of others who have tried to gate off public rights of ways both in town and country.
    Whaligoe had fishing boats working out of up until aprox 1970 (Wullie B Sinclair had one) and as I said in a previous post Im almost sure it is still classed as a salmon fishing station (there are pictures of salmon nets drying there from aprox 1960s in "Caithness a cultural crossroads") It would be interesting to see who actually owns Whaligoe if it is the same set up as at Sarclet haven then it will the estate with a public access through it to the haven
    I'd imagine it's owned by thrumster estate.

  20. #20

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    tooner Would it not be too far south for the Thrumster Estate?? I dont know if the Ulster estate has it??
    Anyway if you look at the planning list for Highland Planning applications for 12th July 2006 then you may get a clue where this has stemmed from
    and as you may have guessed its my last post on the thread!!!!

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