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National parks in peril

October 3, 2013

This is very worrying, John B


I guess we should be thankful that, unlike in the US (where the parks have been closed because of the budget crisis), our national parks are still open.  But they are under greater assault than at any time during their 64-year existence.

There was a worrying debate in the House of Commons on National Parks (Planning Policy) on 11 September.  It was led by Simon Hart (Con, Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire—slightly bizarre, given that Wales now has a devolved administration).

He said: ‘at the moment there is no provision in the planning application system for officers to consider social and economic factors’ (not true), and ‘ultimately landscape and ecological factors always take precedence, which is a problem’.  It’s not a problem— that’s what national parks are for (though unfortunately landscape and ecology don’t always take precedence).  Mr Hart called on the minister to amend the Environment Act 1995 to…

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