Correspondence from Inverasdale Estate & Northern Lighthouse Board

Correspondence: Gairloch Community Council have published correspondence from the Inverasdale Estate and the Northern Lighthouse Board regarding the road between Melvaig and Rua Reidh lighthouse

From Inverasdale Estate:

Dear All

I set out below the estates position.

The tarmac track to the light house was constructed by the NLB in 1964.Permission was granted for this road by the estate by way of a Deed of servitude. This deed allowed the estate access for the following purposes , personal , normal estate ,agricultural and/or sporting, subject to speed and weight restrictions which may be agreed from time to time.
The maintenance of the road is solely the responsibility of the NLB and therefore it follows that it is they who can decide who can and who cannot use the road . The estate cannot grant permission beyond what is allowed within the deed of servitude. However “sporting ” in my view includes sea fishing and the estate is happy for folk to use the track to access the sea fishing providing they park at the borrow pit above the lighthouse.
Also, within the deed is a requirement for the NLB to provide and maintain a gate at either end of the road. If the NLB wish to renew the gate the Estate would not object, but it must not be locked or restrict access in any way to those with a right to use the road.

As the road is a private road the NLB have a right to erect such a sign stating only “Private Road”. Any other signs, apart from highway signs such as weight restrictions and speed limits would need the permission of the estate. I do not think that camper vans are suitable for this narrow road and I should like to suggest that they are banned.

The Car parking at the Melvaig end is very limited and should be increased, but this will have to be agreed by the crofters and council. The car parking at the light house end needs to be signed and enhanced .

I fear that a meeting would achieve little.

Regards

Mark Williams MRICS
Factor Inverasdale estate

From the Northern Lighthouse Board:

Dear Mark,

Many thanks for your email to Christine of today which we have discussed with our lawyers. As you may know, our previous repairs to the road caused us to review the legal position in detail some time ago. Our lawyers have therefore had the opportunity to become totally familiar with the deeds and they are confident that their understanding is correct.
They are unequivocally advising us that NLB does not control the road and has no power to grant additional rights of access over the road. Our lawyers are also very clear that NLB having a right of access does not imply that NLB has a power to exclude others from also taking access. They further tell me that the maintenance provisions are irrelevant and it is not unusual to find an obligation for one party to maintain property that is controlled by another. Finally, the obligation on NLB to erect the gate has been extinguished and NLB would decline to erect it again.
You will appreciate that I say this to advise all involved that NLB has no power to intervene in this matter.

Best Regards

Mike

Mike Bullock
Chief Executive
Northern Lighthouse Board
84 George Street

1 thought on “Correspondence from Inverasdale Estate & Northern Lighthouse Board”

  1. May 8th 2017 bad experience on the Rubha Reidh lighthouse road for a 92 year old Arctic Convoys veteran.

    After Dad one of the invited Arctic Convoys veterans had totally enjoyed the Loch Ewe WWII Festival and reunion of the veterans we decided to take him to revisit Rubha Reidh lighthouse are of coast we took him to in 2013. As he is 92 we decided to drive him down the road past the signs to drop him off then take the car back up to park it. There was a gate across the end of road and man came out of light house shouting at us to go away. We mentioned Dad and asked about turning through the gate, he shouted at us to go back up the road without turning. Reversing up a single track road is not easy plus is fairly risky damage could be caused to the car or we could go off the road. Driver stopped to rest, clutch was smelling from slipping, woman came out up bank towards us, at first we thought she might be reasonable and let us go down to turn at gate.  We soon realised she was a deranged, unfriendly, bad tempered woman. She yelled at us to get  away, I said we are trying to leave and she had seen us struggling to drive backwards safe up a single track hill. As we were stationery at that moment she was waving her video camera around screaming at us to go away, she moved in front car videoing registration number while we were trying to drive backwards and Dad was worried if the clutch slipped and car went forward she would get hit by car. We managed to back up hill to track and turn plus drive away. What we find shocking is we have heard this woman behaves same way towards people walking down hill toward lighthouse. It was a bad experience but at least we were safely in car while this deranged woman was screaming and shouting at us. We have been coming to Scotland since the 1980’s and we have never met such a unfriendly pair of people before. Before this everyone has been totally friendly and helpful in this area of Scotland. Dad managed to enjoy his day out in Gairloch & Poolewe area rest of Monday. He 100% enjoyed the whole Loch Ewe WWII Festival weekend.

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