Has East Devon missed out already on a joint East Devon/Dorset National Park?

PRESS RELEASE:

Dorset National Park Welcomes Michael Gove’s Announcement

A press release Monday 29 May 2018 x the Dorset National Park Team

The Dorset National Park Team welcomes the statement by Michael Gove, Secretary of State for DEFRA, that the Government’s review of designated areas to be led by Julian Glover will consider whether more national parks are needed. A Dorset National Park was first proposed along with others which have subsequently gone ahead in a Government report of 1945. For reasons specific to the time it was not then progressed. But now there is cross-county and cross-party support for conserving and enhancing a landscape that includes the World Heritage Jurassic Coast, inland Ridgeways and the area of Thomas Hardy’s novels.

A Dorset National Park would be at the heart of southern England, next to the largest non-industrial conurbation in the country – Poole/Bournemouth – and within easy public transport reach of London, the South East, Midlands and Bristol. The Purbeck area of Dorset has the greatest biodiversity of any area in the country. But Dorset’s landscape, heritage and wildlife need to be safeguarded and enhanced.

A Dorset National Park would work in partnership with its communities, councils, landowners, farmers and businesses to ensure its communities thrive and are sustainable.

We look forward to working closely with Julian Glover in his review.
For more information see http://www.dorsetnationalpark.com/”

The key arguments East Devon District Council had in 2015 to reject a joint National Park were:

1. Loss of planning powers
however South Downs NP uses the Local Authority to administer the Parks Planning Process.

2. Prevention of ‘good growth’ in areas of low skill, low wages, economic weakness and housing shortage, especially affordable.
It has been shown that growth can be achieved in National Parks and provision of housing especially affordable is achievable with grants and government support.

3. Restriction and concentration of jobs and housing growth in the west of the District with minimal benefit deriving eastwards.
The GESP and the Local Plan are already doing this anyway!

4. Sensitive but non- National Park or AONB designated areas of the District may come under increasing and concentrated pressure of development.
As 3 above. Look at Cranbrook, Ottery St Mary, and Clyst St Mary!

There is a danger that the East Devon areas outside the already designated AONBs will be the major growth point as Dorset and other Devon Councils lobby and possibly achieve special status for their own areas.

EDDC must work with the National Parks/AONBs together with Greater Exeter to provide the best possible outcome.

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