Peter Hinson suggests that I have 'absolute trust' in the National Trust (NCE last week).
I simply believe that the NT is as good as any in its field.
As a charity its 'vested interests' are those of the population in general. Its council is about to become wholly elected and the NT is as accountable as any similar organisation. The NT was entitled to lobby government to try to get funding for a tunnel under Stonehenge and the government was free to refuse, as it appears to have done.
The Cliveden land is a former hospital site that was let and produced some income for the NT. There is a planning application in for housing, which was refused by the local authority and is going to appeal.
The land would be leased and the NT would remain in partnership with the developer.
Mr Hinson refers to the narrow remit of the NT, which has 3.4M members and is responsible for 250,000 hectares of land and 1,130km of coastline. This is not a narrow remit. There is no incompatibility between the NT, in its role as a landowning charity, making planning applications and also being active in relevant planning matters.
Ian Hamilton, 1 Albert Road, Richmond, TW10 6DJ