UKC

The end of National Park authorities?

 Offwidth 31 Mar 2021

Speculation on a government reorganisation of National Park management, reported on Sunday's Countryfile. Starts 10:30 minutes in.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000tqm6/countryfile-greensand-ridge

In reply to Offwidth:

It's interesting how this is being covered. It's been burbling under on Devon Live/Plymouth Live for a couple of days 

https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/plymouth-news/huge-plans-totally-change-way-5242549

I've tried looking for it being reported elsewhere but haven't had any luck. This may just be my poor Googling skills, it does seem remarkably odd that a shake up of such magnitude isn't being more widely covered. But then that's probably exactly what they want. 

 Doug 31 Mar 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

yet to listen but is this only England & Wales ?

 Offwidth 31 Mar 2021
In reply to Doug:

The implication on the TV show was England only.

In reply to Offwidth:

At the least it needs streamlining, individual HQs, nice buildings, ceos on £80/90k+, shops and cafes that are stand alone with no centralised purchasing, individual hr staff.   It's endless. Each park doesn't employ that many people, or own very much land it all. NP planning departments, should merge with existing council ones, they don't need two. 

 John Gresty 31 Mar 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

I've always thought their title was wrong as they are mostly just an extra planning authority. Unfortunately most of the general public do not realise that. At least the Peak Park did own some land althought they do seem mighty enthusiastic to divest themselves of that responsibility. 

What gets even more confusing, and I have heard it myself, the term Park can give the impression that it is the same as your local town Park. 

John

 Offwidth 31 Mar 2021
In reply to summo:

The expense and facility is a drop in the ocean for the national importance of the areas and the visitor numbers. I'm not happy with local accountability already and shifting everything to a central English HQ is hardly going to improve things.

In reply to John Gresty

Park Authorities have a mission well beyond planning and governance. That the minutes of meetings show an obsession in those areas I see as a sign of required reform not centralisation.

The BMC view on the Glover report

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/glover-report-landscape-review-national-parks-climbing-walking-mountain-bmc

In that BMC report the look at numbers on different subjects on the Park agendas is shocking. At a quick count I make it:  108 Items in total on Governance;

55 on 'Other' matters

36 items in total on Planning

26 on Finance
12 on Access and Recreation
2 on Landscape
1 on Nature

These look well beyond organisations failing to meet the reasons they were set up in the first place and very deep inside their own colons, so something does need to be done. I'm just not convinced that is centralisation.

Post edited at 09:23
In reply to Offwidth:

This is very concerning.  I'd go the other way and make them unitary local authorities fully responsible for their area.

 John Gresty 31 Mar 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

I have noticed in the Lake district some gates were inscribed with, if I remember correctly, LDSPB. Which I presume stands for 'Lake District Special Planning Board' .  No mention of national park.

John

 Myfyr Tomos 31 Mar 2021
In reply to John Gresty:

Strategic Planning Board/committee? 

 UKB Shark 31 Mar 2021
In reply to John Gresty:

> At least the Peak Park did own some land althought they do seem mighty enthusiastic to divest themselves of that responsibility. 

Let’s hope so as far as Stanage / North Lees goes - assuming it goes to the National Trust or a competent combo like the Eastern Moors Partnership which must rate as the gold standard in custodianship

 Denning76 31 Mar 2021
In reply to UKB Shark:

Weren't there rumours about Moscar being interested?

 UKB Shark 31 Mar 2021
In reply to Denning76:

Any whiff of an attempt to put it into private hands would create mahoosive public outcry.

It’s not PDNPA’s to sell to the highest bidder AFAIK as it was gifted for public benefit so In guessing there is potential for legal challenge if they start down that route.

In reply to Offwidth:

The problem is the uk thinks it's national parks are uninhabited wildernesses like Yellowstone, but really there's hundreds of thousands of people living in them, thousands of businesses, schools, factories, motorways even etc.. most parks are really just industrial heritage mono cultures, apart from a few niche areas which would be protected until SSSI legislation anyway, even if NPs didn't exist. 

The first agenda item should be to decide what it wants the parks to look like in 50 years time. The permanent residents view point should carry greater weight. 

In reply to summo:

> The problem is the uk thinks it's national parks are uninhabited wildernesses like Yellowstone, but really there's hundreds of thousands of people living in them, thousands of businesses, schools, factories, motorways even etc..

Nobody thinks this!

In reply to The New NickB:

> Nobody thinks this!

Well it's about time they stopped treating them that way then. 

 Martin Hore 31 Mar 2021
In reply to summo:

> Well it's about time they stopped treating them that way then. 

Could you explain in what ways the UK treats it's National Parks as if they were uninhabited wildernesses? I don't see that we do that at all. 

Martin

In reply to Martin Hore:

> Could you explain in what ways the UK treats it's National Parks as if they were uninhabited wildernesses? I don't see that we do that at all. 

Completely against any development to the detriment of local businesses and residents. It's all about keeping it looking a certain way (usually some victorian hay day ) for the day visitors and holiday home owners. The locals, employment, species diversity etc are always secondary. 

If the parks wanted better wild habit the sheep, grouse and deer would have been removed years ago. 

Post edited at 21:37
 Jim Lancs 31 Mar 2021
In reply to summo:

I think the policies and actions over building control and uplands management are completely separate issues.

In the Lakes, the amount of development is relentless: Hotels, marinas, chalets, access roads, hydroelectric tracks, pay and display parking, as well as private development, all continue a pace. You only have to look at the development of the Low Wood Hotel to see how the 'local businesses' case holds sway over any control the Planning Board might want to exert. The board is strapped for finance and all the legal cases over the Windermere 10 mph speed limit has shown them they don't have the wherewithal to resist the onslaught of determined developers. And boy do they know it and take full advantage.

Upland management is a separate issue over which the Park has almost no direct control. The only land they own in the Lakes are the tiny oddments that no one else wanted either because of the maintenance issues or the liability. The amount of influence they can hold over the landowners (NT, United Utilities, large estates, etc) is very limited.

In reply to Offwidth:

They need reform. The Lake District seems to be ran exclusively for the purpose of business at the expense of all other concerns. The purpose in law of national parks to "a) conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage" seems to come a distant second and the purpose to "b) promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the area by the public" is interpreted by the LDNPA as to encourage millions of high spending visitors from all over the world to fill up the tea rooms, gift shops, and roads.

Never trust the Tories but the proposals in the landscape review look fairly positive to me.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/designated-landscapes-national-parks-and-aonbs-2018-review/landscapes-review-summary-of-findings

Some highlights for me include proposal 1 is to support and hold national landscapes to account in their mission to recover and enhance nature, proposal 3 is to back nature recovery plans in national landscapes with stronger status in law, proposal 16 is to expand access rights in national landscapes, and proposals 17-19 are to make communities in national landscapes places where people live and work.

I'd welcome an overseeing organisation to make sure the LDNPA are managing the park in line with the purpose of national parks. When you look at the LDNPA vision it seems they have different priorities.

https://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/aboutus/nationalparkvision

In reply to Jim Lancs:

> Upland management is a separate issue over which the Park has almost no direct control.

What exactly are they there for, just an extra layer of red tape? Some aren't permitting any meaningful development and seem to need to expand car parks, increase toilet fees as it's the only way they can balance the books against salaries. The one I'm thinking of is a haven of well meaning individuals, but you listen to what they've spent a 'hectic' day doing and I think it sounds like an hours work. 

In reply to Jim Lancs:

I'll add, when YD and LD expanded to bridge the gap between them, the residents and businesses there had no voice. Now if you count the AONB, it's pretty much coast to coast park, (apart from a strip between a1 and a19), very little of it is environmentally or habit wise that special. The uk loves a barren hill side. 

Post edited at 05:56
 timjones 01 Apr 2021
In reply to The New NickB:

They might not think that they are uninhabited wilderness but a significant number of people appear to think that they can be treated as such.

In reply to timjones:

> They might not think that they are uninhabited wilderness but a significant number of people appear to think that they can be treated as such.

Could you expand on what you mean by this?


Loading Notifications...