LATEST: Madonna's lawyers queried the legality of the land classification
process today (06MAY04) as the superstar fights ramblers hoping to gain access
to her English estate.
Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie claim land on their 1,200-acre
(485-hectare) ASHCOMBE ESTATE on the Wiltshire-Dorset border in England was
inaccurately marked as areas of open country and is strongly against public
THE COUNTRYSIDE AGENCY had classified 100 acres (40 hectares) of the
Ritchie estate as downlands - meaning the public have the right to walk across
Madonna and Ritchie's solicitor DAVID ELVIN QC said at the public planning
meeting at the ROYAL CHASE HOTEL today the land was farmland, rather than open
countryside, because it contained semi-improved grassland.
Elvin said, "The methodology doesn't have the force of law, it's on the
only source of consideration. If you apply only the methodology you are not
necessarily acting lawfully."
Chris Smith, the appeals adviser for the Agency, responded, "We think
that's the methodology the sole piece of information that should be used to map
The hearing continues.