Jeremy Clarksons public path privacy clash

Posted: 04/05/2012

In 2005, Jeremy Clarkson and his wife Frances bought a £1.2 million lighthouse turned holiday home on the Isle of Man. Later that year, he stumbled across a problem. He found out that there was a public path way running along side his property where rampant ramblers were taking a peek into his private life.

Clarkson reported that the general public were peering into his kitchen window and taking photographs. He decided to block off a section of the path that ran past his holiday home to protect his privacy but met an immediate inquiry from the group, Public Rights of Way Lagness.

Public Rights of Way Lagness argued that walkers had followed the route next to Clarkson’s lighthouse for generations and it met legal requirements that it could be used by the general public, without interruption for a minimum of 21 years.

Mr Clarkson’s Lawyers counter argued that there was no right of access and that the walkers had been given permission by the previous land owner to walk past the lighthouse. Frances Clarkson spoke about how some of the walkers had been abusive towards their family due to her husband being in the public eye.

In the final report, David Andersonm, the Isle of Man’s transport Minister, agreed with a recommendation from an inspector, Mr Roy Hickey, who inquired into the path and decided on a compromise to move the public right of way 10 metres from Jeremy Clarkson’s property and allow a fence to be built between the two.

Mr Clarkson has 28 days to object the ruling.

What are your thoughts on the ruling? Do you agree with the decision made or do you believe that the only reason the path was moved is because of Jeremy Clarkson public profile?

Amanda McGovern, Pali Ltd
www.paliltd.com

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