January 15, 2004
England, Birthplace and Death Knell of Liberty
Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.\"\;
First, we get the execrable miscarriage of justice and trampling of liberty that caused a British citizen to be jailed for life for defending his own home against invaders (after having significant amounts of his property stolen previously; it should be noted that he was eventually released from jail on parole, after much legal wrangling). Now we get this: a man required to get government permission to meditate on his own property. (hat tip: VodkaPundit)
A Buddhist has been told that he needs planning permission before he can meditate in woodland he owns.
The Essex Wildlife Trust objected because it feared trees were being damaged, including the removal of "old and long-established ivy". A local resident expressed concern because several vehicles were turning up at the site with would-be meditators.
"I was told I would need planning permission because it was a change of use from woodland to meditational woodland. I had to fill in the same forms that you would need to build a skyscraper."
His application for a change of use will be considered by Rochford district council planning committee tonight. Council officers have recommended that it be approved.
"Our only conditions are that no more than one vehicle be allowed in between sunset and sunrise and that there be a limit on the number of people who use the site so that residents will not be disturbed," a spokesman said.
Mr James said that, apart from the district council, Essex county council, English Nature and the Essex Wildlife Trust all had to be consulted over his application.