The Gap Partnership

Community group seeks to acquire Cape Wrath plot

The outcome of a battle of rival bids over the acquisition of a plot of land in the north-westernmost part of the British mainland may have far-reaching implications for public access and the local tourism sector.

17 January 2013

Posted by Ken Hayes

A community body in the far north of Scotland is seeking to buy a plot of land by Cape Wrath, in a bid to preserve the local tourist economy.

Sales negotiations have already commenced between landowner the Northern Lighthouse Board and the Ministry of Defence, which already owns extensive tracts of land on the peninsula and uses these for live firing exercises.

Conservation group the John Muir Trust is backing the rival village bid and an online petition against the MOD's acquisition plan, amid fears the purchase would enable it to prohibit public access to the land on safety grounds, ending tourism to the rocky headland.

John Ure, who runs the Ozone Cafe and bunkhouse near the Cape, said an MOD purchase would be "about closing down the whole peninsula".

The MOD has firing rights over a number of places in the UK, some of which are still accessible to the public.

Examples of this in Scotland include the Luss Hills in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

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