In his emotive letter (6 June) Tim Baynes of Scottish Land and Estates ignores completely Scottish Environment LINK’s perfectly reasonable argument that the creation of hill tracks should be brought within the planning system.
This is the fundamental call in the LINK report Track Changes. We think that if householders need planning permission to build a conservatory, an estate owner should require it to bulldoze a track for miles across our landscape.
If estate owners continue to abuse their current, privileged position within the planning system, as it has been conclusively demonstrated some do, they will simply provoke those who care about our environment to ratchet up the campaign.
Instead of calling for the very moderate right to object to the creation of a particular hill track, it is likely they will face calls in future for a ban on all such roads being bulldozed onto our hills.
In the meantime, if their standards are as high as Mr Baynes claims, there will be no problem getting planning permissions – and no need for further conflict.
Scottish Environment LINK hill tracks campaign group