Much joy on the Isle of Man today as BBC Top Gear presenter and Manx resident Jeremy Clarkson will have to reopen a footpath he had fenced off on the beautiful Langness peninsular. This after the decision of a public enquiry went against him.
Jeremy and his family own the lighthouse which sits on Dreswick Point at the southernmost tip of the Island. The area is a haven for wildlife and has some stunning views, which made it popular for evening walks long before the Clarkson clan arrived. Personally, I can remember many wonderful evenings there as a kid, kicking a football along the lighthouse road and looking for driftwood by the foghorn.
But clearly ignoring caveat emptor, Mrs Clarkson – Frances Cain – objected that people were walking around the lighthouse (as they had been since it was built 130 years ago) and looking in through her windows.
Evidently, despite Top Gear being the biggest BBC export worldwide, purchasing blinds was still an issue.
However, in October 2006, Mr Clarkson found some spare change in an old jacket and with it, put a fence across the public right of way, the erection of which upset a whole heap of local residents. Now, after a lengthy and bitter legal battle, those local residents – led by Ian Costain – have won their case and Mr Clarkson must reinstate the footpath around his home.
…the inspector found that all the routes had indeed been used as of right for enough years for them to have become highways, and needing to be added to the Rights of Way map.
So it would seem that “the Greatest Living Briton” (as the Tall Accountant refers to him) is just another ordinary citizen on the Isle of Man. Which is exactly how it should be.