Fwd: Fylingdales update
- From: FlossieMintballs@...
Subject: Fyliongdales update
Date: Sun, 1 Dec 2002 17:58:04 EST
Update from Fylingdales November 29th 2002
USA's Lt Gen Kadish's visit: November 21st: The significance of the visit to
Fylingdales of Lt Gen Ronald Kadish, Chief of the USA's Missile Defense Agency,
is that this is the man in charge of USA's National Missile Defense, 'Star
Wars'. This is a clear indication that the decision to allow the USA to use
the base for its NMD programme has already been made behind closed doors. Only
two weeks ago, the UK's Secretary of State for Defence, Geoff Hoon stated that
the issue of 'Star Wars' would be debated in public. So, you can say what you
like, as loud as you like and for as long as you like, but it will not affect a
decision - it is already a fait accompli.
There was a massive police operation to get Kadish into and out of the base,
with officers being brought in from as far away as Wales. We shall ask for a
statement of the cost of the policing for Kadish's visit, and whether the UK or
the USA paid the bill. The demonstrators braved the torrential rain and
freezing cold wind, but the extensive local and national media coverage made it
well worth while. Kadish deeply embarrassed the UK Government and put 'Star
Wars' back in the news.
The North York Moors National Park Development sub-Committee on November 12th
passed the plans for Dog Kennels (actually a substantial installation to
accommodate 12 dogs and their handlers: the plans include dining room, kitchen,
vets' room and amenities). The committee insisted that the existing dogs'
facility must be demolished. Apart from that, they do not appear to have
addressed other objections to the plans. "It is unfair discrimination against
cats", which one objector forgot to delete from the representation submitted to
the Chief Planning Officer, was included as an item on the sub-Committee's
Agenda. This is recorded in the files forever. I shall desist from 'naming and
shaming' the person responsible. She has suffered enough derision for this
gaffe. Thank you, Jackie, for the sympathetic gift of a 'Cat Lovers Against the
Plans in the Pipeline: not yet advertised:
The piecemeal development of the base security and infrastructure is
continuing: Plans are in preparation to expand the Ministry of Defence Police
facilities. The MoD Police are responsible for the security at the base, so
this development indicates that an increase in their numbers is anticipated -
extra security in advance of 'Star Wars'? There are plans to refurbish (and
expand?) most of the base buildings, which are said to be in a dilapidated
state. They are flat-roofed, jerry-built structures, which were not designed to
withstand the adverse weather conditions of a Yorkshire moor. (Have you read
Wuthering Heights?) The radar equipment, etc is supplied and maintained by the
US Space Command (now incorporated into US Strategic Command). We intend to
enquire who is paying for current upgrades, the USA or UK.
Bridleways: the saga continues:
Briefly to recap: TJ discovered that two bridleways on the base, which enter
the 'Secure Area' through the electric anti-intruder security fence, were shown
on the new OS Explorer Map. Rights of Way Officers verified them.
Under the Highways Act 1980, the public has the right to pass along bridleways.
On August 24th several people were arrested, then de-arrested later, for
attempting to do so. For 40 years the MoD has prevented public access. On 25th
September the Defence Estates Agency put up notices stating that, under the
terms of the Defence Lands Act 1842, these bridleways, where they entered the
Secure Area and for some distance outside, were closed forthwith.
This peremptory decision was challenged; representations were made to the
Secretary of State for Defence. The Yorkshire Evening Press, November 5th,
reported: Star Wars Protesters Fight to Save Footpaths. The media is interested
in any future developments. In response to two representations to Miss G A
Coop, Public Rights of Way Officer, she has sent a copy of the Report, which
was presented to the Park Services Committee on November 12th, plus a detailed
two-page reply to the points raised in our complaints. It transpires that the
bridleway from the A169 Whitby - Pickering Road has been identified as the
Robin Hood's Bay 'Old Salt Road' (believed to be mediaeval or earlier). It went
W - E over Snod Hill, on which the Fylingdales BMEWS pyramid stands. (The
Authority has recognised that the base ought to be called 'RAF Snod' - actually
it should properly be 'USSPACECOM Snod'). Part of the Robin Hood's Bay Road was
extinguished in 1962 for the construction of the old 'golf balls'. Tradition
states that the road was a notorious smugglers' route and lent its name to the
legendary Saltersgate Inn.
The other bridleway, which runs alongside the security fence and through it
into, the E side of the base Secure Area, and which used to join the Robin
Hood's Bay Road prior to 1962, may be an ancient trackway. Iron Age burial
tumuli alongside the route indicate its history. On the authority of Lewis
Moonie, Under Secretary of State for Defence, this bridleway has been diverted
from its historic route.
Miss Coop states: "In recognition of its history, the Authority would consider
recreating the route as a bridleway when the land is no longer required for
active purposes by the MoD. I am not aware of any grounds on which the
Authority may challenge either the Ministry of Defence's decision to close the
bridleway in 1962 or the changes made by the Under Secretary of State for
Defence last month."
The MoD is now seeking to extinguish the rest of the Robin Hood's Bay 'Old Salt
Road' leading from its junction with the A169. The Defence Lands Act does not
give authority for closure of this section, as it presents no problem to the
security of the site. The MoD therefore has to make application to the County
Council under the provisions of the Highways Act 1980. The November 12th
Report, Bridleways at RAF Fylingdales, Lockton, states: "The Authority would
not normally support the extinguishment of public rights of way unless it is
with the agreement of users and, in most cases with the provision of an equal
or better public right of way in the vicinity which would be a considerable
benefit to the public. Extinguishing a right of way because it is a dead end is
not in itself a valid reason as many are still used and enjoyed by the public".
There is potential for significant public gain by the creation of bridleways on
the MoD estate to mitigate the loss of the cul-de-sac bridleway
The NYMNPA is hoping that they can negotiate a 'deal' and create two bridleways
across the MoD land (which would include official recognition of the famous
Lyke Wake Walk) in exchange for agreeing to closure of the remainder of the
ancient Robin Hood's Bay Road. The North Yorkshire County Council has approved
in principle. Can you imagine the MoD accepting it? We shall make further
representation to insist that the security fence, which obstructs the paths, be
moved. Of course the most satisfactory solution - close the base and reinstate
the rights of way.
Standing Stone: An ancient stone on the road verge, marks the junction of the
A169 - Robin Hood's Bay Road. The NYMNPA Archaeologist will investigate and
give us an opinion. There is lettering incised into its surface, which has been
partially erased with a chisel (in1962?). We believe this is a 'lost' guide
stone known as 'the Trough or Brough Stone'.
Fylingdales Star Peace Camp (6 months old November 28th): further eviction
On November 6th the Whitby County Court granted a Repossession Order to the
landowners, the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. The owners acknowledged that the land
was not damaged or polluted by the campers. On November 16th a Notice to Quit,
with immediate effect, was issued. The landowners can now remove all equipment
from the site. The NYMNPA is also contemplating Enforcement Action, to prohibit
camping on the exposed moor, which will be decided by the Development sub-
Committee on December 12th. Representations have been made for consideration at
that meeting, maintaining that the right to assemble and protest is enshrined
in the Human Rights Act, 1980.
York Crown Court: November 25th - 29th: Sylvia and Olivia on trial for 'going
equipped' to disable Fylingdales. Convicted (after judge appeared to direct
jury to acquit): sentence: Conditional Discharge for two years: ordered to pay
over £1000 costs of trial.
----- End forwarded message -----