Review of achievements in the period 1996 - 2010

This page is to be updated...

Please be aware that advice and guidance on this site was current when posted, and whislt it will still have some relevance today, subsequent legislation or Judgments may have brought about changes. Hopefully any obsolete material will have been removed, but it is alwasy best to check the current position.

Planned Objectives


In 1998 LARA spent some money on lawyers to avert change that would have removed permitted development rights, more commonly know as the 12/28 day rule, under which many motorsport events took place. An old report, but still largely relevant.

Educational Initiatives & Effectiveness in Outside Forums To target specific literature at:
a. Persons with whom we have direct contact and whom we can directly influence.
b. Persons with whom we have no contact, i.e. the specialist press and the manufacturers, and other outreach programmes.
c. Persons with whom we have no contact viz. members of other pressure & user groups who traditionally oppose motorised recreation. This to be done in association with organisations who maintain contact with such groups through jointly produced literature.
 Significant achievements in all areas. LARA News (incorporating MFU Matters) has been developed as LARA's regular journal, distributed free of charge across a broad spectrum including local and governmental organisations, LARA clubs, targetted individuals and the media. LARA News is drawing responses and inputs from unexpected quarters.
LARA's 1998 conference on 'Countryside Consensus' has impacted both inside and well beyond motor sport; there is still a demand for the papers 18 months on.
LARA, in association with the ACU, has produced a colour illustrated 'Environmental Code' (aimed at motorcyclists). This has reached far out into the sport (and is being replicated now for car sport). Once again, motorsport leads on environmental advice to participants.
The working group on Managing Motorcycle Access in the Cheviot Hills shows LARA's ability to work with groups that might formerly have declined co-operation, e.g. Northumberland National Park and the Ministry of Defence. To seek initiatives with public agencies such as the Countryside Commission, National Parks, Highway Authorities and the Country Landowners Association for the publication and promotion of joint education packages for local and regional distribution.  LARA has maintained contacts with National Parks and county councils about the development of 'hierarchy' projects for recreational vehicular access management, based upon the success to date of the Lake District HoTR scheme. Responses vary from interested to outright hostility to any suggested reasonable management solution. To continue the programme of site-specific literature where necessary, e.g. voluntary restraint signs and codes of conduct specific to certain places, such as the Ridgeway, Parkamoor, Walna Scar, Beadlam Rigg.  The Managing Motorcycle Access in the Cheviot Hills group has issued joint literature and signage. Ridgeway literature and signage continues in force (updated). Lake District literature and signage is being introduced.
'Voluntary Restraint' signage and local advice notes have been issued in several places on a case-by-case basis. To have motor sport organisations recognised within other organisations is crucial to the managed development of the sport. This will be pursued by seeking to develop and maintain LARA representation, either through a full-time officer or a suitably qualified volunteer, on every forum and committee of significance at national, regional and local level.
National: Wildlife & Countryside Link. CCPR. CROWC. National Park Committees.
Regional: Regional Councils for Sport & Recreation.
Local: National park liaison groups. County council RoW liaison groups.
 LARA's recognition by other organisations has increased as evidenced by the constantly increasing opportunities offered to LARA (and sometimes direct to member organisations) to participate in national, regional and local meetings, consultations and policy initiatives. This may be measured by reference to the MRDO's calendar over the Plan period 1996 - 2000, and is reflected in this work area being elevated in status in the Plan period 2000 - 2004. LARA engages and participates at all levels from meetings with Ministers to parish-level liaisons. The limiting factor is resources.
W&CL has always declined to accept LARA and is now essentially defunct anyway.
CCPR's Outdoor Pursuits Division is enthusiastically supported by LARA and LARA members.
CROWC is defunct.
LARA has asked for suitable candidates within motorsport to allow their names to go forward for places on National Park Authorities (and the Countryside Agency). There is no known success so far, but the widening of the pool of 'suitable candidates' suggests that with perseverance a breakthrough will be made.
Regional Councils: now defunct.
National Park & county council liaison groups. Local members of LARA organisations are active participants in all known liaison groups. To equip national, regional and local officers so that they are able to make a positive contribution to a high proportion of the various forums' workload, not just so that they react to proposals and comments that depict motor sport & recreation in a negative way.  LARA officers at all levels now have the assistance of 'models' in the form of work done in the lake District, Cheviots, parts of Wales, and elsewhere. LARA aims to equip all officers in these forums with a 'resource pack' of basic and template materials, but this activity has heavy resources implications and still relies, too much, on individuals' commitment, enthusiasm and self-acquired skills. To identify and train (in association with other organisations where possible) a wider panel of voluntary officers for such duties to ease the workload on the core of full-time officers and to enhance the level of local knowledge and relationships with the various forums.  Ditto above. The provision of core training and training materials to meet this aim is a major element in the Plan 2000 - 2004. To work more closely in formal and informal relationships with government departments (DETR etc.) and statutory organisations such as the Sports Council, Countryside Commission and National Parks, and to be equipped to offer them expertise in a wider range of countryside matters than just 'hard core' motorsport.  This has been achieved during the Plan period 1996 - 2000. The links made are not always 'formal' or particularly visible, but officers' increasing degree of co-working and exchange of information with these organisations has continued through the Plan period. To work more closely in formal and informal relationships with similar organisations to LARA, such as the BHS and CTC. By sharing skills and knowledge to build friendship and trust which will benefit all parties when dealing in the wider forums. This has been achieved during the Plan period 1996 - 2000. The links made are not always 'formal' or particularly visible, but officers' increasing degree of co-working and exchange of information with these organisations has continued through the Plan period. To identify and develop points of commonality with apparent adversaries such as the Ramblers, GLEAM, etc. (e.g. the increasing dissatisfaction with the present state of the public inquiry system relating to land use.) This has not proved particularly easy, but officers' continued dialogue and engagement with professionals within The Ramblers has improved day-to-day working, if not always policy disagreements. Policy tends to be made by idealists; these are not as amenable to comradeship as are officers. GLEAM remains intent on the destruction of vehicular rights of access. It does not appear to want consensus or compromise. To develop imaginative, creative and visionary ways of managing motorised activity through consultation, such as the Lake District Hierarchy of Roads Initiative, and the creation of Trail management Committees. LARA regards the export of the HoTR principle to other places as being of major importance. Initiatives have been launched in various places (e.g. the Peak Park, North Yorkshire) with varying degrees of response ranging from cautious agreement to explore, to outright rejection on dogmatic grounds.
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Membership Services & Regional Initiatives To enable member organisations and their affiliated clubs to place major planning and legal issues in the hands of qualified personnel. This objective has been achieved. Officers have expended large proportions of their time on case-specific work, typically planning enforcement and rights of way problems. Resources are plainly a constraint. LARA's intention to improve training and provision of materials is aimed at addressing the inability of central officers to take on board every case that comes up. To identify issues, threats and opportunities affecting motor sport and recreation at the earliest moment. To inform members, and to provide the forum for discussion on these issues at which consensus views may be reached and actions taken. This objective has been achieved. LARA officers, through increased 'networking' and monitoring, are able to spot potential threats and problems and intervene directly, or seek a volunteer to undertake the task. This increased awareness has an immediate resources downside: officers' 'area of involvement' is now much wider, yet resources have had no commensurate increase. To stage conferences, workshops and seminars which will increase members' expertise in dealing with major administrative, environmental and legal issues themselves, and the understanding of outside bodies. Thus reducing, in the medium and long term, the need for so much central involvement. These are to coincide with the publication of codes and guides. This objective has been achieved. LARA's annual conference/seminar, with the exception of the 1999 initiative for the motoring media, have met targets and been enthusiastically received in motorsport and well beyond. To remain a central advocate for the whole spectrum of motor sport and recreation activity in a manner which single organisations cannot be. This objective has been achieved. Outside organisations and individuals come to LARA as 'the' central point of contact for all aspects of motor sport and recreation. LARA sometimes needs to refer these contacts to one or more LARA member organisations. To remain a respected consultee on all aspects of the provision of facilities and the control of motorsports, both for members, and for outside agencies who may otherwise not consult any of the member organisations of LARA. This objective has been achieved. LARA's role and value in this area has steadily increased over the Plan period 1996 - 2000. To continue to expand and support the series of LARA regional seminars, focusing on smaller areas that have close affinity, according to an annual programme. This objective has not been achieved. The absence of a considered and integrated regional structure in LARA's member organisations denies LARA in the form of an expertise provider a platform on which to offer regional training. This is to be addressed in 2000 - 2004. To identify local issues through which LARA can encourage local groups of member organisations to work co-operatively and in association with other user and land management groups in the area. This objective has been achieved to a limited degree. LARA has been successful in making the more-aware local volunteer officer more conscious of the need to engage with other organisations in land management and sport, beyond the narrow confines of motor sport. To develop this further demands the allocation of more resources to provision of training, materials and information back-up services to volunteers. To guide local initiatives such that they may be developed into model examples of good practice that may be transferable to other areas of the country. Ditto the above. At the moment local initiatives tend to be based on ideas coming into local areas from the national forum. This will not effectively be reversed until local officers feel equipped to initiate, develop and export their own ideas. To add greater strength and credence to the work of LARA member organisations by encouraging more participation from the motor(car) industry (SMMT) and other organisations such as the Commercial Motor Sports Association (CMSA), the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), the Federation of Off-Road Driving Schools (FORDS), and The Off Road Training Association (TORTA). This objective has not been achieved despite repeated attempts. The 'federation structures' of the motor industry are inward-looking and such that the participants apparently do not perceive LARA's work as core to their own best future interests. LARA will continue to develop a dialogue with a view to securing both an exchange of policy, information and training, and the in-flow of essential resources. To support the creation of Regional Motorsport Forums and to recommend that such Forums should be project based (at least initially) in order to give them an identifiable focus. This objective has effectively been moribund during the Plan period 1996 - 2000. LARA perceives a 'chicken-and-egg' situation here: the RMFs will not flourish until there are sufficient motivated and equipped officers; the officers are hard to locate and train without some regional structure in place.
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Facility Management & Development To take a pro-active role in the development and control of land use in Britain, as provided for in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. This objective has been achieved to a limited extent. LARA has worked steadily to inform and educate internally about the essential need to operate within the land use planning process, rather than constantly be a victim of it. This has been a steep learning curve. The resource implications and sheer scale of the task have been higher than anticipated.
LARA has had a vigorous input into the updating of PPG 17, SASPs, and other national initiatives. A prime objective during the period of this Forward Plan will be to take every planning authority draft deposit development plan and to encourage every planning authority to include positive provision for motor sport and recreation. This objective has been achieved to a limited degree. The cost and data-handling task of taking every Plan and Strategy, seeking and receiving every update, and monitoring progress, led to a revision of expectation. LARA has pro-actively given every planning authority (and every authority making a recreational strategy) a basic 'data pack' about motor sport and recreation and its land-use needs. LARA will work closely with member organisations to obtain, retain and develop motor sport and recreation facilities and, in line with other objectives in this Plan, encourage and educate members to be better able to do this work locally. This objective has been achieved to a limited degree. LARA has invested heavily in the production of its 'fact-file' Planning GuideNotes publication. This is designed to assist and inform motor sport organisers about the planning processes and what motor sport must do to safeguard its future. The GuideNotes also have a value to planning professionals in gaining a better understanding of what motor sport is all about. This publication remains available at a heavily subsidised cost and is regularly updated. LARA will act on behalf of its members to ensure that motor sport and recreation interests are considered and catered for in initiatives such as Community Forests, new Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Areas of Outstanding Natural beauty, and Special Areas of Conservation, etc. 'Countryside Consensus', LARA's 1998 national conference with a published report, shows a positive way for 'difficult' activities like motorsports to be included in land management initiatives.
LARA has maintained a strong presence within the National Forest's initiative to locate and secure a new motor sports site. To pursue the possibility of attaching some level of legal protection to Britain's network of historic roads (Heritage Byways) and traditional motorsport sites (Sites of Special Motor Sport Interest). This objective has been achieved to a limited degree. The recording of 'Heritage Motor Sport Sites' in a regularly updated listing has proved beneficial both inside the sport, and at public inquiries into enforcement notices.
No progress has been made on the idea of 'Heritage Byways', but the idea remains attractive; by coincidence (?) the Ramblers' Association has in 2000 launched a similar programme. To pursue improvements in the procedure of public inquiries and venues review in collaboration with the DoE and other interested parties. This objective has been achieved to a limited degree. LARA has established and maintained a dialogue with the DETR about the determination process and Inspectorial standards. This appears to be having some effect, although the processes and standards are still adjudged inadequate.
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Special Partnership Projects To pilot local partnership initiatives that can be transported as models for implementation in other areas of the country. This objective has been achieved to a limited degree. The Lake District HoTR is a good example. LARA anticipates that this work area will develop only when local volunteer officers are better equipped through training, materials and guidance. To be instrumental in leading member groups in participatory planning and management with at least one partner. Ditto above. To build upon existing partnership initiatives, e.g. Lake District Hierarchy of Trail Routes. Ditto above. To encourage member groups to become involved in continuous and dynamic ongoing joint management and review of motor sport and recreation in specific localities, through expansion and development of such schemes as the Heritage Motor Sports Scheme. Ditto above