The Dorset National Park Team welcomes the government's commitment to "Conserve and enhance the natural beauty of our landscapes by reviewing National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) for the 21st century, including assessing whether more may be needed."
Dorset's case for National Park designation is strong and amply demonstrated, as evidence and studies on this website show. We look forward to Natural England's further assessment of the proposal later this year, and to working with local councils and communities, as well as with Natural England and DEFRA, to bring the Dorset National Park opportunity to fruition as soon as possible.
As the Government's Plan notes, the creation of designated landscapes such as National Parks "has been among the outstanding environmental achievements of the past 100 years. They provide a patchwork of stunning, and protected, landscapes ... We will make sure they continue to be conserved and enhanced, while recognising that they are living landscapes that support rural communities."
The Plan states: "As planning authorities, National Parks can shape the way development is used to contribute to their social, economic and environmental enhancement. While development is not prohibited in National Parks or AONBs, major development should take place only in exceptional circumstances."
DEFRA's Plan recognises the achievements of the UK's National Parks and the benefits these have brought to their communities and local economies as well as the environment and heritage. Case studies in the publication showcase National Parks' continuing leadership role and their contribution to thriving and resilient communities and landscapes.
The Government's 25 Year Environment Plan was published on 11 January: