on the issue of creating a National Park from the current AONBs:
National Park – East Devon / Isle of Purbeck
1. Those who live in or close to a National Park such as Dartmoor or Exmoor will know the severe restrictions which NP status places on all that happens inside the NP. The NP tends to be run by officials who are not democratically elected, and merely refer to their regulations.
2. East Devon and West Dorset have already several AONB’s, such as Blackdown Hills. Moreover this large area overall has distinct beauty and charm, in both landscape and ecology. To make a large part into NP would force all significant development to the parts of the county which are not NP.
3. Natural England point out that upgrading an AONB to NP requires legally that the land in question affords opportunities for open air recreation, inter alia in relation to population centres. Moreover arguments based on development pressure or landscape conservation have no weight.
4. CPRE supports appropriate development – “the better development of our countryside and its towns and villages”. In order to preserve the countryside, one must have some development; or the area dies. The planning system is not perfect, but it does allow case by case discussions. An NP would remove flexibility.
5. We have now received a map showing the proposed extent of the NP. It stretches over 100 miles along the coast from Exmouth to Lyme Regis to Weymouth to Poole. This is an enormous area of normally developed agricultural countryside. It is entirely different from Dartmoor or Exmoor, and would be wholly inappropriate to be a National Park, as inter alia it would degrade such status.
East Devon & Exeter - Devon District Groups - CPRE Devon - Campaign to Protect Rural England
Futures Forum: National Park for East Devon and Dorset: the issues
Futures Forum: National Park for East Devon and Dorset: questions