Friday, 28 March 2008

Keep your eyes peeled

As the tension mounts (really) in the buildup to the official launch of Real England next week, there'll be some more media this weekend to look out for.

First off, the Guardian's Weekend magazine will be running an extract from the book on Saturday 29th. Over the weekend, and on Monday, the Guardian's Comment is Free website will also be running two articles by me which pick up on subjects covered in the book.

Meanwhile, my list of speaking engagements is growing, with new events added in Oxford, London and Grasmere. Hope you can make one of them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The sad stories of city councils selling off public highway to developers, which appeared in today's (29th March)Guardian extract from your book, are repeated in Leeds. I've been personally involved recently in preventing a slice of unwanted highway being sold as part of the site for a 'gateway' apartment development. At first glance the proposal looked praiseworthy. The new block would include public circulation space near the riverside, with a viewing area. However, access to it would be dependent on a Town and Country Planning Act 1990 section 106 'planning agreement', whereas at present (and now, we hope, for the future) there are public highway rights protecting access to the riverside. The robust sheltering framework of law surrounding rights of way, which allows the individual citizen, for example, to go to the courts to have obstructions cleared over the head of highway authorities, was going to be removed from a few square metres of pavement, and the much weaker, grace and favour protection of the section 106 agreement put in its place. The developers had even gone to the trouble and expense of starting two separate legal processes to extinguish the highway rights. Now, after some effort on our part, they have agreed to leave a 2 metre strip of public highway untouched by the extinguishment process. We were lucky to catch this one. The local authority, it would appear, felt no sense of shame about the original proposal to substitute a feeble section 106 agreement for existing public rights.

Not far away, in the Trinity quarter of the city centre, contractors' hoardings have just gone up for the start of a redevelopment which has, I fear, been based on extinguishing highway rights on several well-known lanes.