“A Dorset and East Devon national park could help with affordable housing”

Don’t get your hopes up – East Devon District Council has already stamped on it saying it would be just awful as they would lose control of planning!

“CREATING a national park across part of Dorset and east Devon could help ensure affordable housing goes to local people, according to campaigners.

The Dorset and East Devon National Park Team gave a presentation to Lyme Regis Town Council last week – pointing out the benefits the proposals could bring to the town and west Dorset.

Richard Brown, speaking on behalf of the national park team, said the proposals could “help affordable homes stay affordable”.

He added: “I think so many communities across Dorset are passing motions recognising that this is a great opportunity for Dorset.

National parks have a good track record in promoting the provision of affordable homes and keeping such homes affordable and available for local people.”

He added: “It would help develop affordable homes and a coherent Dorset tourism strategy.”

Speaking about a national park established in the South Downs, Mr Brown said that “people now stay longer and spend more”.

Although the project could be “five or six years away”, Mr Brown pointed out that “the proposed national park for Dorset remains unfinished business”.

The team say Natural England has already undertaken a positive first assessment of the proposal submitted to them in 2013.

The team’s current proposal for a national park includes the Dorset AONB land from Lyme Regis to Blandford Forum, excluding the Dorchester area, as well as much of Purbeck and east Devon, excluding Seaton and Sidmouth. But the national park boundary has yet to be finalised.

Mr Brown added: “The environment and the economy are two halves of the same coin.

“All of Dorset would benefit from the economic stimulus a national park brings. They are not against development. They work hard through local partnerships to deliver what local people want.”

The concept of creating a national park gained the backing of some town councillors.

Cllr Derek Hallett remained cautious, urging members to “look at it very carefully”, while Cllr Jeff Scowen described the proposals as “a marvellous idea”. …”

http://www.bridportnews.co.uk/news/14627353.National_park_for_Dorset_and_east_Devon_could__quot_help_affordable_homes_stay_affordable_quot_/