Is EDDC liaising with the “Dorset” National Park Team?

Natural England has been tasked by the government to assess the creation of a new National Park based on combining the East Devon and Dorset AONBs.

As with the formative stages of the creation of the Jurassic Park World Heritage Site, all the running is coming from Dorset. Unless EDDC starts to engage with the process, guess who will be left behind again.

For example, the latest Dorset National Park Teams newsletter outlines proposals for a simplified and streamlined approach to planning in the proposed Dorset National Park

A New Approach to Planning

Dorset offers the unique opportunity of a National Park wholly within the boundaries of the Dorset Council area. There is an opportunity to develop a unique, streamlined and cost effective new style National Park.

 ➤ The Dorset Council could have the leading role on the National Park Authority (NPA) Board and in NPA policy development and implementation.

 ➤ It could develop and implement a Local Plan for the whole Dorset Council area including the National Park. NPA staff could be Dorset Council employees, with a single planning team covering all of rural Dorset. 

➤ NPA resources, including central government grant, would benefit Dorset Council, local communities and businesses, help to meet the costs of planning and other functions, and thus release funds for other local priorities. 

➤ A National Park Advisory Board could include relevant Dorset organisations (e.g. the Jurassic Coast Trust, Dorset Local Nature Partnership) and help promote coordination and synergy. NPA funds would support such local organisations (and thus also supplement or release Dorset Council funds). 

➤ Offer a wider range of recreational opportunities than is available in any existing or proposed National Park.

The former Dorset County Council concluded that “the proposal for a National Park could potentially support the Council’s corporate outcomes in relation to a healthy and prosperous Dorset.” 

The Dorset National Park team accepted an invitation from Natural England in the summer to be involved in the further assessment of the Dorset proposal now it has been short-listed for further evaluation. The team looks forward to renewing these discussions with Natural England. 

Dorset has an opportunity to take forward unique proposals for a National Park which would bring economic, financial and environmental benefits for all.