Western Morning News on Jurassic National Park

Here in East Devon there is a serious dilemma: officers and former majority party councillors (many of whom kept their seats at the most recent election) refused to back a Jurassic National Park, as they did not want planning and dealing with developers taken away from them. So, the new council has to make a decision: leave this to officers to push for the status quo and change nothing or back the report.

Councillor Jung, who holds the Environment portfolio, and who left East Devon Alliance to accept the post from the Independent Group, now has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders. He did sterling work protecting Woodbury from the encroachment of the Carter family – can he persuade his new colleagues to back him? Presuming he does back it …

“Landscape study calls for a new national park

The Westcountry should have a new national park, alongside Dartmoor and Exmoor, a review of Britain’s landscapes proposes.

Two existing Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in Dorset and East Devon would be combined into the new park, covering not only the famous Jurassic Coast, but inland landscape treasures such as the hill forts of Dorset and East Devon.

The campaign group behind the proposal believes it would be a shot in the arm for the area’s economy and for local people.

The proposal is part of the Landscapes Review led by Julian Glover. It calls for the biggest shakeup of the running of England’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty since they were founded 70 years ago.

The review says the governing of national parks is top-heavy, with too little diversity or turnover of board members.

It also makes recommendations to introduce more innovative, enterprising ways to generate funds, in addition to further government funding.

Among the suggestions being put to ministers is a new National Landscapes Service to act as a unified body for England’s 44 national landscapes, including 10 National Parks and 34 AONBs.

A 1,000-strong ranger service would be the “friendly face” of national parks and help to engage schools and communities.

Every school pupil should have the opportunity to spend a night “under the stars” in these special landscapes to help more children to connect with nature, Mr Glover suggests.
AONBs would be given a boost, with new protections, responsibilities, titles and funding to help them be greener, more beautiful and more welcoming to the public.

Defra, which commissioned the review, will now consider the recommendations. Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers said: “These landscapes are the jewels in the crown of our countryside and are a cornerstone of our rural economy.
“We are committed to ensuring they flourish as havens for nature and sites that everyone in the country goes to visit for inspiration, adventure or relaxation:’

Mr Glover, who led the review, said: “From the high fells of the Lake District to the wildness of Exmoor, England’s most beautiful places define our country.

“Today we are setting out a big, bold plan to bring them alive to tackle the crisis in our natural environment and make sure they are there for everyone to enjoy.

“If we take action, we can make our country healthier, happier, greener, more beautiful and part of all our lives.
“Seventy years ago this year we created our national parks for a nation that had just won the Second World War. Now it’s time to reignite that mission.”

Richard Brown, a member of the group campaigning for a new Dorset national park, said talks were already under way with Natural England, and from there a recommendation would go to Defra, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

He said that becoming a national park would create a new onus to deliver housing according to local needs, along with better facilities for businesses.

“We are losing young families and we need more affordable housing.

“National parks aren’t subject to central government housing targets, but have a duty to respond proactively to local housing needs.

“Some people think a national park would stop development, but we do need development – the right kind of development:’
With several hurdles still to negotiate, they have not yet thought of a name for the new national park. Mr Brown suggested that could come from the public.”

Source: KEITH ROSSITER keith.rossiter@reachpic.com
Western Morning News 24 Sept 2019

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:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/833163/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.

“Have your say on the management of East Devon’s Jurassic Coast”

A Jurrasic Coast National Park from Studland Bay to Exmouth? Surely our new ruling group will be keen on that won’t they?

“The organisation that looks after the Jurassic Coast is inviting input from people in East Devon, as it sets out its management plan for the next five years.

A draft plan has been drawn up, and consultation days will be held in Exmouth, Sidmouth and Seaton for people to learn about the proposals and have their say.

The Jurassic Coast Trust’s work includes putting out information about rock falls and landslips, promoting responsible fossil collecting, educating the public through museums and visitor centres, and giving guidance to local organisations, to ensure that development and tourism does not harm the Jurassic Coast.

Public consultation days will take place on

Tuesday, September 10,
at Exmouth Library;

Thursday, September 19,
at Sidmouth Library; and

Wednesday, September 25,
at Seaton Jurassic.

Members of the trust’s staff will be on hand between 10am and 3pm to talk through the draft plan and answer questions.

Following the consultation, the plan is due to be published in the next few months.”

“Have your say on the Jurassic Coast’s future” [suggestion: new National Park]

Now Mr Diviani is no longer leader of EDDC perhaps the idea of a Jurassic National Park can be resuscitated – he and his council were against this as they didn’t want to lose their control over planning (over-developing) the site:

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2018/10/09/new-national-park-for-east-devon-not-while-people-like-diviani-are-councillors/

And surely we are not in the situation of caring what our CEO then and now thinks?

“The public is being asked to help draw up a new blueprint for the future management of the Jurassic Coast.

https://jurassiccoast.org/what-is-the-jurassic-coast/world-heritage/looking-after-the-jurassic-coast/partnership-plan-consultation/

The survey is here:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/QLGGNSD

The trust which manages the site, stretching from Exmouth, in East Devon, to Studland, in Dorset, is creating a new partnership plan document in collaboration with a wide variety of stakeholders.

It will be published towards the end of this year and will guide management of the World Heritage Site over the next five years.

The plan will take in conservation and preservation of the site, how the site impacts on the local economy and how it can play an active role in the lives of local communities.

As part of the creation of the new partnership plan, a consultation process is being untaken from now until the end of September.

A spokesman for the Jurassic Coast Trust said: “The new partnership plan is an important document, representing a tangible expression of the partnership that looks after the Jurassic Coast.

“It explains the reasons for the Jurassic Coast’s World Heritage designation, and how it is protected and managed.

“It also outlines the aims, policies, actions and aspirations for managing the site over the coming years.”

The partnership plan is a formal requirement and will replace the current site management plan, which, along with a copy of the new draft plan, can be seen by clicking on the Trust’s website here Alternatively a copy can be requested by telephoning the Trust’s office on 01308 807000.

People going online can contribute their views directly or they can download a printed version of the survey to fill in later.

The completed surveys should be sent directly to the

Jurassic Coast Trust,
email at:
info@jurassiccoast.org

or by post to:

Partnership Plan Consultation,
Jurassic Coast Trust,
Mountfield,
Bridport,
Dorset DT6 3JP

The Jurassic Coast Trust will also be running drop-in consultation sessions across the World Heritage Site area in September. Dates and venues will be announced towards the end of this month.

The deadline for responses to the survey is Friday, October 4. All comments received as part of the consultation will be collated. A report will be produced by the Jurassic Coast Partnership detailing the responses and indicating how the plan will be subsequently amended.

The report will be made available online and to anyone who has asked to be sent updates on the progress of the plan.

Once an amended version of the plan is agreed by the Jurassic Coast Partnership and approved by Historic England, it will be adopted by Dorset Council and Devon County Council before being formally submitted to DCMS and UNESCO.”

https://www.midweekherald.co.uk/news/consultation-on-management-of-the-jurassic-coast-1-6203990

(Former) EDDC accused of “corporate vandalism” – paint cliffs wrong shade of red!

“Sightseers and geologists have slammed a council for painting historic sandstone cliffs in a “weird” red.

Sidmouth rocks are a famous feature of the Devon coast, noted for their natural earthy colouring.

But the decision to paint a section in the “wrong red” during recent stabilisation work has left experts and tourists bemused.

A councillor said reinforcing concrete had been dyed to “help it blend in with the surrounding stone”.

During the works, completed at the end of April, large bolts set in concrete were installed into the cliff to stabilise a large piece of rock.
The work was completed at the end of April.

Geologist Dr Alasdair Bruce said he could only describe East Devon District Council’s effort as “corporate vandalism”.

“They have sprayed most of the cliff. It’s almost like an Eric Sykes film,” he said.

“I’ve seen councils do some strange things with cliffs but this clanger really is at the top of the pile.”

The cliffs at Sidmouth are thought to date back about 220 million years to the Triassic period, which came before the Jurassic period.

Bill Shaw, a metal sculptor from Bideford on holiday with his wife, Peach, said: “It’s a bit weird. It just looks fake.

“It’s the wrong red as well, it should be more of a terracotta colour or would be better just left as it was.”

Geoff Jung, the council’s portfolio holder for the environment, said: “The concrete was dyed to help it blend in with the surrounding stone as opposed to leaving it as a plain concrete finish.”

He said the stabilisation work allowed the council to keep the walkway under the cliffs open and the public safe.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-48613244

Could we lose World Heritage Site status in the East Devon section of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site through EDDC lack of concern over retrospective planning application at Ladram Bay?

Retrospective planning application EDDC 18/1517

UK National Commission for UNESCO already alerted by members of the general public

Jurassic Coast Trust (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Tue 04 Sep 2018

Firstly, we would like to point out that the Jurassic Coast Trust, as the organisation responsible for the protection of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, should have been formally consulted on this application.
You should also be aware that this application has been raised by the general public with the UK National Commission for UNESCO, with whom we are now liaising.

Response: Object

The core issue for us is the extension of the viewing deck or ‘ice cream deck’ into the World Heritage Site (WHS). The boundary for the WHS is described for this part of the coast in appendix 2 of the Site management plan. Both the full plan and its appendices are available to download freely from http://www.jurassiccoast.org. At Ladram Bay the WHS sits between the break in slope at the top of the cliff and the mean low water mark. The extension of the decking therefore has a direct impact within the Site’s boundaries.

These potential impacts should be considered under the following policies from the WHS management plan:

1.1 Protect the OUV (Outstanding Universal Value) of the site through prevention of developments that might impede natural processes, or obscure the exposed geology, as set out in the GCR / SSSI details, now and in the future.

1.2 Where developments affecting the Site or setting do take place, avoid or at least mitigate negative impact on the natural processes and exposed geology.

1.3 Oppose developments in the Site’s setting that may warrant a future need for coastal defences, particularly in light of potential sea-level rise and extreme weather events.

1.4 Protect the landscape character, natural beauty and cultural heritage of the Site and setting from inappropriate development.

Retrospective planning permission is wholly inadequate to deliver these policies for three key reasons:

1 There is not enough information provided about the nature of the structure and how it is anchored and supported. A proper assessment of its impacts on the WHS is impossible based on this application.

2 Retrospective permission does not allow for the mitigation of impacts within the design process.

3 There is no evidence that alternative approaches that provide similar benefits to the holiday park’s users whilst protecting the natural environment have been considered.

National Planning Policy provides World Heritage Sites with the highest level of protection (see NPPF paragraphs 184 and 194). The long operation and high rating of the holiday park does not excuse the applicant from following proper planning procedures.

If the applicant had followed normal planning procedure, we would have had the chance to comment early on the design, suggest alternatives if necessary or, if deemed to be appropriate development, recommended suitable consent conditions.

Protection of the World Heritage Site relies on the planning system to deliver these opportunities.

We strongly recommend that East Devon District Council refuse this application.”