FARMERS and landowners - especially those based near towns - believe they have won an important victory to prevent anti-social behaviour on their land.
Under the controversial Right to Roam (CRoW) Act introduced last year, landowners had no right to stop undesirables using their land for fly-tipping, vandalism, crime or illegal off-roading by 4 x 4s and trial bikes.
New law could keep yobs off farm_land
Fly-tipping, in particular, has been a major problem for farmers working land near urban areas because they have been forced to pay out of their own pockets to clear up mess left illegally. Vandalism, even injuries caused deliberately to livestock, and rural crime has also been growing in recent years.
Now, under provisions of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act which came into force last Thursday, landowners can ask the local authority for permission to erect barriers on routes "facilitating persistent crime or anti-social behaviour".
This new right was fought for in a long campaign by the Country Land and Business Association and Carole Hodgson, CLA Assistant Regional Director North says:
"At last we have legislation that actually helps protect the land and property owner from crime, illegal encampments, fly -tipping and illegal access by motor vehicles. Where there is a real problem with crime or anti-social behaviour, the council now has the powers to take sensible steps to prevent the problem by controlling access."