Just to let you know that the South Hams AONB Unit have announced  the publication of the Governments independent review into England’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), which is  available HERE

Or via:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/833163/landscapes-review-final-report.pdf

A Few Of The Key Points

Proposal 18: A new National Landscapes Housing Association to build affordable homes.

A policy that 50% of all new housing in the AONB on sites of two or more
dwellings should be affordable.

National landscapes should have the flexibility to use funds collected through Section 106 agreements and, where relevant, the New Homes Bonus raised by the
constituent authorities, to support locally needed affordable housing,

“For reasons beyond their control, National Parks are currently unable to fulfill their statutory purpose to “conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage” of their areas. Nor is the situation in AONBs any different.”

“The basic fact of failure is, as the National Trust put it, in its submission
to our call for evidence, “We believe that National Parks and AONBs are
not currently delivering on their duty in relation to nature”

“We do however want to see AONBs given greater status in the planning system. They should become statutory consultees.”

“We need more homes in the countryside, including in national landscapes, but in small numbers, built beautifully and made affordable.”

“We propose a new set of wording applicable to both National Parks and AONBs to read as follows:

Recover, conserve and enhance natural beauty, biodiversity and natural capital, and cultural heritage.”

“We want to see our national landscape bodies doing much more to reach out and welcome people in. An important way of getting interest across all of society is of course to inspire our younger generations. This is why we set out a proposal for every child to spend at least one night in a national landscape. We think that seeing and knowing our country is the best way to respect and save it. There are many good examples of working with schools, but we want to see more done.”

“We also want to see public bodies recognise the status of national landscapes, as they do not always do so at present. The existing duty of ‘regard’ is too weak.”

“We want our landscapes to focus on enhancing natural beauty, supporting
communities and visitors.”

“We propose a new National Landscapes Rural Housing Association to build affordable homes for rent. We heard often that sites could be found for small numbers of homes.

“Our country is changing fast. It is becoming more diverse. More urban. Much busier. New forms of farming, carbon emissions, the sprawl of housing, new technology, and social shifts have changed the relationship between people and the countryside, and left nature and our climate in crisis”

“We think our national landscapes can work together better with bigger ambitions to be happier, healthier, greener, more beautiful and open to everyone. This is what our recommendations aim to achieve and we hope those involved in our national landscapes will work together to put them into action.

“We first want to renew the purposes of national landscapes to meet the modern challenges of restoring natural beauty – it must be more urgent about recovery, not just conserving what we have. It must also be applied equally to National Parks and AONBs.”

“We would like to see these plans (AONB Management Plans) set ambitious proposals to support the climate challenges we face, not least on tree planting”

“It is 70 years this year since Parliament came together to protect our landscapes. Our country has changed and so must the way we support people and nature.”

“Our national landscapes should lead the way (on climate change). They should be at the forefront of our national response to climate change. The government has committed to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The quarter of England which is covered by national landscapes will need to respond if this is to happen.”

“Our system of landscape protection has been hampered by having little influence over the things which have done the most harm to nature. This includes a system of farming subsidies which, although it has improved, for decades rewarded
intensification regardless of the consequences.”

“Increasing tree cover Trees play a vital role in combatting climate change, acting not only as a carbon sink, but offering myriad other benefits, like habitat connectivity, biodiversity improvement, help with preventing soil erosion, and reducing flood risk.”

“We heard repeatedly that planning policies and decisions, especially in large AONBs, can vary immensely between authorities. There is often no shared vision for the landscape as a whole, with different local authorities taking different approaches, inconsistent with the AONBs’ purpose and character.”

“We are not making proposals to tax or restrict second homes. Although they can cause acute problems in some areas. We think local authorities, in consultation with residents, remain best-placed to determine whether to use the powers
already open to them to charge increased rates for second homes.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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