> On the face of it, it sounds like a wonderful idea. However, some people who have lived in a National Park (Dartmoor) have fairly strong views that living in a national park with all its restrictions makes life very difficult, for everyone. Might this be a good topic for another public debate, with all points of view represented?
> Have to be careful here over what one hears about the restrictions imposed by yet another level of bureaucracy. Perhaps OK for blanket conservation of what is here now but I don't think that it will help with our aims of Sustainability in any shape or form. How would we develop even small scale energy sources or put up greenhouses (dare I mention polytunnels) for food production? Is it true that NPs prevent householders or farmers putting solar on their roofs? Sounds far too restrictive to my way of thinking.
> I am a supporter but as indicated there is some strong opposition. I understand one argument it is about governance ie genuine concerns about who makes decisions, no voice for community, non elected control group... So I am a yes with a caveat on how it is controlled giving communities a say.
> We need long term conservation of the area and the NP will provide extra protection against the place becoming a clone of everywhere else. Remember EDDC policy is development before landscape, - they don’t do planning or sustainability!
Looking at the issues:
Re sustainable development, Dartmoor NP had a bad record 10 years ago: Champion of green homes bows to planners | Environment | The Guardian
But this might have changed: Sustainable Development in Dartmoor National Park | Tavistock People which talks of cash for the renovation and refurbishment of a water turbine, a feasibility study into the viability of a prototype vertical axis wind turbine for commercial distribution etc.
Plus BBC News - Park authority money for sustainable Dartmoor projects and Grab a grant as we celebrate 10 years of sustainable development funding on Dartmoor
NP status doesn’t ‘stop development’, however: www.sevenarchitecture.co.uk/media/pdfs/48c87725e48aa50dfddc7be5c24f94d6.pdf
As for polytunnels, the info is mixed. A planning application was turned down in 2005 Enforcement case (ENF/0317/05)
but a grant has been awarded for others:
Funding totalling £5,000 has been provided for the Camphill Devon Community Ltd to develop food production through land-based day-care activities. In partnership with South Devon Rural Housing Association, the community will undergo an expansion of supported living accommodation at sites in Buckfast and Buckfastleigh and this project aims to develop existing food production areas including a new polytunnel and thepurchase of an all terrain vehicle suitable for disabled drivers. Funding for Sustainable Development on Dartmoor
NP status ‘allows space’ to promote sustainability issues: this site from the newest NP is perhaps a bit twee but makes the point: The Sustainability Centre - Welcome
Here are some very critical letters, but from 2006. Things might have changed since then, though:
There is concern about a 'democratic deficit':
In December 2009, Natural England proposed extending the National Park in the direction of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. This would include land of high landscape value in the Lune Valley. The proposal was opposed by Cumbria County Council who said it would lead to less democratic control and would make local housing less affordable. A public inquiry is being held into the proposals which will require a decision by the Secretary of State. Lake District - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Although much of the opposition comes from Local Authorities concerned about losing powers: see Futures Forum: National Park for East Devon and Dorset: next stage pt 2
But the most interesting discussion has come out of the campaign for National Park status on the South Downs:
But critics warned that the National Parks' stringent planning rules would bring misery and expense to homes and businesses. Under these rules, applications for new homes, extensions and even conservatories can become mired in red tape. Planning decisions will be taken away from 15 elected local councils and handed to a new Park Planning AuthoritySouth Downs becomes Britain's newest national park... but will it be a forest of red tape? | Mail Online