We have had a further meeting with the organisers of “Pub in The Park” and have considered the wider aspects of the event. In particular we want to be certain the event would comply with all regulatory requirements.
The Heath is designated Common Land, a status that confers the right of public access. We consulted Natural England with regard to the Common Land issues and, separately, those FoTH Committee members who are Town Councillors instigated a legal investigation by Knutsford Town Council.
From what we have learned it is clear that it would be illegal to fence off part of The Heath (even temporarily) and prevent access to that part by the general public. We understand that it could be legal only if consent for the public access restriction were to be given by the UK Government.
This has been confirmed by the Open Spaces Society, a conservation group long respected for its work protecting Britain’s open spaces. They have censured the proposal and stated that the organisers should seek the consent of the Secretary of State to hold the event.
Unless the organisers obtain such consent, Friends of The Heath must object to the event taking place on The Heath.