Land access protest at al Fayed home

Tony Gosling tony at
Sat May 3 16:44:15 BST 2003

Land access protest at al Fayed home

Supporters of the Scottish Socialist Party are protesting outside the
Highland home of Harrods boss Mohamed Al Fayed in opposition to the Land
Reform (Scotland) Act.
The SSP claims to be the only political party prepared to address
'concerns' the act does not go far enough and all Scottish land should be
able to be accessed freely.
The demonstrators marched to the front gate of Mr Al Fayed's home,
Balnagowan Castle, Ross-shire, demanding to be let in but there was no answer.

The group then marched to the castle's security gate. Still there was no
After about 30 minutes, while being observed by police, the protesters
The SSP claims Mr Al Fayed has closed off large parts of the 65,000 acre
estate to the public but the estates factor Gordon Robertson says the land
owner was not opposed to the crofters' right to buy or the public's right
to roam.

Mr Robertson claims Balnagowan Estate actually allows good access to the
Leading the protest, Frank Ward, the SSP prospective parliamentary
candidate for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, says Mr Al Fayed "was
not the worse of the Highland landowners" and that many more would be
targeted by the party although he refused to say who.

Mr Ward said: "All open areas should be in the public domain and
democratically controlled, that does not mean across private houses and
their gardens but as far as farmland and forestry is concerned we believe
in free access."

Story filed: 14:26 Sunday 27th April 2003
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