The future of our National Parks is not very clear:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and National Parks
Futures Forum: Brexit: and Dartmoor
The future of possible new additions is also not very clear:
Creating a new South Devon National Park – National Park wildlife community south devon
In fact, the proposed Dorset and East Devon National Park has been rebranded - as the Dorset National Park:
A National Park for Dorset in the 21st Century
Back in March, the East Devon Watch blog commented:
Will it ever happen? Not while the current Tories are in charge at East Devon as their Leader, Paul Diviani, was aghast at the idea of losing their control over planning along the East Devon part of the Jurassic coast.
No such worries in Dorset where it is supported. Odd that.
New website to promote south devon National Park | East Devon Watch
And a posting from today reiterates the same antipathy from the East Devon District Council:
Dorset positive about national park – we can’t join up as Diviani doesn’t want to lose control of assets | East Devon Watch
The latest press release from the Dorset National Park team shows that their proposals are gaining traction:
Dorset National Park – partnering with future councils.
7 Nov 2017
Dorset National Park Team
The Government has said it is minded to support a move to two unitary local authorities in place of the present nine Dorset councils. How would the proposed Dorset National Park work with a possible new unitary system?
The National Park would be an asset and a valued partner for any future councils, under existing or possible new arrangements, helping to deliver a shared agenda for a successful, thriving and healthy Dorset, and benefitting our communities, economy and environment. As Purbeck District Council noted this summer, a Dorset National Park can help to keep Purbeck special. Within any new unitary system, a National Park would increase the representation, voice and influence of rural Dorset and its communities.
As National Parks are funded by core grants from central government, the Dorset National Park would bring genuinely additional funding to Dorset. It would free up council funds for investment in local priorities such as affordable homes and local transport. It would not be a charge on local people or businesses. Our close comparator the South Downs National Park Authority has received some £50m in DEFRA core grants and secured some £40m in additional project funding in its first 5 years, invested in the local economy.
A National Park is a specialised local authority and would be the planning authority for its area. The AONB would disappear. The South Downs National Park delegates a high proportion of planning applications to partner local authorities and pays them to handle these. It provides a "First Stop Shop" on all planning matters, coordinating and streamlining the provision of advice, and with locally-based staff available for consultation.
As three quarters of the National Park Authority members would be local councillors and one third of these would be from Parish and Town Councils, a National Park would increase the influence and voice of local communities - giving them an important say in planning matters.
Natural England plans to undertake a further assessment of the Dorset National Park proposal in 2018. Let's encourage them to do this as soon as resources are available, and ensure a prosperous, thriving future for Purbeck and rural Dorset!
Dorset National Park – partnering with future councils. | A National Park for Dorset in the 21st Century