Comment on Owl’s original post – thanks for the information:
Last year Government presented its 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment – “A Green Future”.
A spin off from this was the commissioning of a review of designated Landscapes lead by Julian Glover. The final report has just been published to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the passing of the Parks and Access to the Countryside Act (which created National Parks).
The central proposal is to bring National Parks and AONBs together as part of one family of national landscapes, served by a shared National Landscapes Service (NLS) which will give them a bigger voice, bigger ambition and a new way of working to meet new challenges.
“We also think what are now AONBs should be strengthened, with increased funding, governance reform, new shared purposes with National Parks, and a greater voice on development.
“We do however want to see AONBs given greater status in the planning system. They should become statutory consultees, and we set out later how we think this can work. They should also, where appropriate, be supported to work towards local plans for their areas, prepared in conjunction with local authorities. For larger AONBs, especially those we highlight as candidates for possible National Park status [see comments on page 121 below], this plan should have statutory status, in place of the multitude of local authority plans.
“We also make proposals to simplify and strengthen governance of National Parks and AONBs, while leaving a strong place for local identity and decision making especially on planning issues.”
A closer reading of the review shows that Glover uses “Dorset or Dorset proposal” as shorthand for the proposal for creating a new National Park based on combining the East Devon and Dorset AONBs. Annex 4, page 153, confirms that the only new National Park proposal in our neck of the woods is the combined one.
So from page 121 of Glover:
“We received submissions on the case for several other AONBs to become National Parks too.
“The two that stand out as leading candidates are the Cotswolds AONB and the combined Dorset and East Devon AONBs…..
“ …….Dorset has some of the greatest concentrations of biodiversity in Britain and opportunities for enjoyment. It includes the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site as well as farmed areas inland where development pressures are less strong and support for a change in status may be less established. We heard from opponents as well as supporters of a new status.
“Both the Cotswolds and the Dorset proposals are strong candidates, alongside the Chilterns, to be considered for National Park status.
“We suggest Natural England and ministers consider the case for each.”
This reflects EDDC’s negative past reaction to such a proposal and is an action replay of what happened when the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site was designated. Dorset sees the opportunities and makes the running. Decisions are made nationally because they are of national rather than parochial significance, and Dorset gets all the credit. EDDC gets left behind.”