Possible Jurassic National Park for Dorset and ? East Devon

The Glover Report on National Parks and AONBs has just been published.

Disappointingly, there is no good news for the Jurassic Coast in East Devon – the only new national park suggested is in the Chilterns, with a new national forest based on Sherwood Forest and consideration for a new national park in Dorset only – though in a later part of the report East Devon is confusingly listed for consideration with Dorset!

See page 121 and 153 here:

Click to access landscapes-review-final-report.pdf

This is in no small part due to the reluctance of the previous administration to support a move to include East Devon, as it did not want to lose control of planning. East Devon Alliance put in a submission to support a national park but it wasn’t enough to sway the report writers.

The report had much to say about enhancing AONBs but it needs the will of local politicians to act on its recommendations.

So, all in all, not the best news for our area.

New National Park for East Devon? Not while people like Diviani are councillors!

This is the aspiration:

“A new Dorset and East Devon National Park could be created.

Cllr Martin Shaw had called for Devon County Council to support the establishment of a Dorset and East Devon National Park and to submit a case for this to the DEFRA review of national parks.

But Devon County Council agreed that any expression of support for the establishment of a Dorset and East Devon National Park should be deferred until the overriding benefit was clearly demonstrated and that it would come from additional funding. …”


This is the reality (November 2017 and nothing has changed:

It has been suggested that the area might secure some £10million of annual central government funding with more than 90 per cent of this being invested in the local economy.”

Responding to the question, council leader Paul Diviani stated that EDDC is not directly involved in the proposals and awaits further consultation as it progresses through the process of consideration.

When asked if he agrees with claims that a national park would bring significant economic benefits to the district, Cllr Diviani said: “National parks and AONBs are not about making money. The AONBS are much more localised than national parks ever can be.

“It is an opportunistic type of approach that people in Dorset are taking about our assets here in East Devon.”


Another county moving to unitisation despite district council protests

Owl wonders what is going on under the radar in Devon and whether district councils are more worried about loss of power and influence rather than economic considerations … recalling that EDDC Tory Leader Paul Diviani rejected the idea of a Jurassic national park with Dorset because EDDC would lose control over planning.

“District councils in Buckinghamshire have responded angrily to government plans to abolish them.

Communities secretary Sajid Javid said yesterday that he was minded to agree a proposal from the county council to create a county-wide unitary council.

In a joint statement, Aylesbury Vale, Chiltern, South Buckinghamshire and Wycombe councils said: “While we are extremely disappointed, the ‘minded to’ decision is not set in stone, and we will be making the strongest possible representations to the secretary of state that this decision is not the right one.

“We don’t believe that this decision is in the best interest of our local residents, businesses, community groups, parish councils and various other stakeholders across the county and, based on our own engagement, we don’t believe it has strong local support.”

The districts had made a rival proposal under which Aylesbury Vale would become one unitary and the other three councils would form another.

They said this recognised differences in the economy, jobs, growth and housing markets across the county.

“A single large unitary will mean major opportunities will be missed in these areas and that a one size fits all model will not mean the best deal,” they said.

“We also question the savings the single unitary model claims to deliver.”


Extended National Park boosts tourism, but NEVER for East Devon

Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cumbria and Dorset value their natural environments:


East Devon guards its developers and their concrete jungles jealously:


“Control of assets” more important than creating a national park says EDDC

Owl says: how come Dorset is so enthusiastic then? It, too, has assets but seems happy to use them for the greater good.

Of course, assets can be bought by developers … but it is much harder to develop a national park … and our LEP would be very unhappy, as where would those EXTRA 176,000 houses go, over and above those in Local Plans.


“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”. …”


More News on a Dorset and Devon national park

“We welcome the 8-Point Plan for England’s National Parks published by the Government on 23 March 2016.

The Plan sets out the Government’s ambition to put National Parks at the heart of how we think about the environment and rural economy in the future.

The Plan sees National Parks as:

Inspiring natural environments, which connect young people with nature
Thriving natural environments, which showcase the benefits of designated landscapes
Drivers of the rural economy, which generate income for local businesses, and support local communities, skills and employment
Landscapes and heritage which promote recreation, health and wellbeing, and encourage involvement and volunteering.
The Government’s Plan reflects our aims for the Dorset & East Devon National Park to promote a strong and sustainable local economy, thriving communities, and a healthy natural environment.

We look forward to Dorset and East Devon having the advantages and opportunities which other National Park areas already enjoy.

Based on evidence from the South Downs National Park, we estimate that the Dorset & East Devon National Park would bring additional funding of around £10m pa from central government, and further funding from other sources. Working fully in partnership with local people – communities, businesses, farmers, landowners, local authorities, voluntary organisations – and the Local Enterprise Partnership, the National Park Authority would invest and spend resources to benefit the local economy.

In addition to the direct economic benefits of National Park funding, wide-ranging economic opportunities would be available to businesses and communities within and around the National Park.

The area’s fine natural environment is its greatest economic asset. A recent report for Dorset County Council confirms this. A Dorset & East Devon National Park would help the area to make the most of its natural assets.

We look forward to working with Dorset & East Devon stakeholders, including Local Authorities and communities, and with Natural England and the Government, to make these ambitions a reality.

We ask Dorset councils to ensure that a National Park is included in Dorset’s bid for local government re-organisation and devolution in early 2017.”