Land Use Advisory Service
The ACU has launched a new service aimed at helping its clubs with any problems they may encounter concerning issues about land usage.
Planning, conservation, rights of way, open access, noise are all potential problems which can affect and frequently have affected clubs staging off-road motorcycle sport at local or even national level, so the Land Use Advice Service (LUAS) has been set up to help find satisfactory resolutions.
The ACU has been a member of LARA - the Land Access and Recreation Association - since 1986. LARA is a national forum and umbrella body for the main organisations in motor sport and it keeps a watching and reporting brief on the national issues that affect our clubs.
But LARA is not always able to deal with all problems as they arise at club level - it is up to each organisation to take care of itself. The ACU has introduced LUAS to help you with problems as they arise and - this is important - to work with clubs so that problems do not arise in the future. Every problem that arises is a learning experience, win or lose, and it is vital that we do learn and apply each lesson for the future.
LUAS will help clubs with problems specific to sites and events. E-mail or telephone advice will be available when a problem arises, and each issue will be documented as a 'case file' at ACU Headquarters. This is very important as experience shows us that having the 'full story' - all the correspondence and the site's history - is crucial to a successful outcome, and once a particular problem is wrapped up, LUAS will look at it to see if there is a learning experience that should be written up as advice for the benefit of other ACU clubs. This is not more paperwork for its own sake: the level of official control and intervention in all aspects of land use goes up and up, and motorcycle sport now, more than ever, has to work within the system.
If you have a problem, or just want to know more about any particular topic, then your first point of contact is Debbie Walmsley at ACU Headquarters (Tel: 01788 566419 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
The ACU has engaged Alan Kind, who also works on planning issues for LARA, as its specialist officer to provide both general and case-specific advice. Clubs with problems can certainly speak directly with Alan, but LUAS has to manage all its communications carefully, so initial contacts should be via Debbie, please. Alan is updating a set of Guidance Notes covering topics such as 14/28 day rule (concerning the need for planning permission) and rights of way. Please visit LARA's website for further information.
LUAS is here to help the ACU's clubs, but it is not a one-way process - you cannot always ask for, and get, a packaged solution to your problems. Headquarters needs the clubs to work with LUAS so that, in the future, few if any problems arise and motorcycle sport is regarded as a good and welcome neighbour in the countryside.