Property rights sacrosanct

August 11, 2008

The ODT editorlialises on the Walking Access Bill and concludes:

There will be regret in several quarters that private property rights have been protected seemingly to a greater degree than the public’s rights of access, and that this Bill amounts to a concession that the original admittedly ambitious proposals were simply too difficult to reconcile with the level of objection.

The pity would have been had property rights not been protected because they are one of the basic planks of democracy.

No-one has the right wander on to someone else’s quarter acre section and use it for a picnic, exercise, walking dogs, hunting, having sex, or as a loo. 

I know people who have come across uninvited visitors doing all of these things. The reasons that make that unacceptable in a city section apply just as much in the country and regardless of how much bigger the property is.

Private Property rights go back to the Magna Carta and if the land owner has to give them away it must be by negotiation and, if appropriate, with compensation.


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