A Briefing Update
The Glover Review was asked to consider how our designated landscapes (National Parks and AONBs), could do even more for our communities, local economy and environment in the 21st century. It proposes that Dorset as well as the Cotswolds and Chilterns should be considered for National Park status.
Many organisations and individuals across Dorset and further afield hope the Dorset Council will seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure a National Park that will work for everyone across Dorset. The key benefits are:
The Dorset National Park would be a close and supportive partner of the Dorset Council and bring benefits, resources and added value for our communities, economy, and environment. The Glover report recognises Dorset’s exceptional qualities and its outstanding case for National Park status and asks Natural England and Ministers to consider this proposal.
The National Park would bring substantial Government core funding and other fund generating opportunities. The funding would augment the capacity and expertise of the Dorset Council, including its planning team. The current AONB has done important work but would lack the resources to deliver the increased responsibilities proposed by Glover. The Dorset Council would have to inject additional money and deliver many of its duties at additional cost. So much more could be achieved - for our communities, economy and environment - if our AONB evolved into a National Park.
The Council and National Park would work together to develop a joint, agreed Local Plan, and the National Park would pay for much of its development and delivery by a joint planning team. Dorset Council could continue to employ the Planning Team, augmented and substantially funded by the National Park from its central government grant. This would free up Dorset Council resources for other priorities across the county. Since AONBs and National Parks have the same status in planning law, the amount of housing approved in an AONB and a National Park should be similar.
The National Park would bring economic opportunities and benefits for all of Dorset, and work with the Councils, communities, businesses and the LEP: for example, it would help attract investment, businesses and skills, promote year-round, higher value tourism across the whole of Dorset, help Dorset capitalise on the Green economy, and promote the Dorset brand and products.
The National Park would work with the BCP Council and bring benefits for the conurbation and its communities. The NP’s purposes would align with and support the Council’s aims to implement policies which are sustainable, improve the health and well-being of local people and increase the involvement of communities for the benefit of all residents.
The Government and Glover want National Parks to work beyond their boundaries to extend their benefits. The Dorset NP can help Councils resource and deliver a shared agenda Dorset-wide, for example on the environment and heritage, address the challenge of climate change, develop a Dorset-wide tourism strategy, and deliver the homes that local people need under a NP’s duty to “respond proactively to local housing needs”. It would help improve the health and wellbeing of all who live and work in and visit Dorset.
We all want a thriving and successful future for our communities, economy and environment, Dorset-wide. A National Park would help us achieve this and together we can shape a National Park that is right for Dorset.