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CPRE reaction to review of National Parks and AONBs

CPRE reaction to review of National Parks and AONBs Tim Parks via Flickr

The Government has today announced a 21st century Review of England’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), setting up an independent panel to carry out the review. The review delivers on a commitment in the 25-year Environment Plan, which was published earlier this year.

Emma Marrington, Senior Rural Policy Campaigner at the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), said:

"CPRE warmly welcomes the appointment of an independent panel led by Julian Glover to carry out this potentially game-changing review. This is a fantastic opportunity to shine the spotlight on National Parks and AONBs – which are the leading lights of England’s landscape – and to consider whether there should be new additions to our current network of landscapes designated for their national importance. Next year will be the 70th anniversary of the legislation that led to the creation of National Parks and AONBs, which makes this 21st century review all the more exciting.

"National Parks and AONBs are of huge importance to the nation; two-thirds of people in England live within 30 minutes of a National Park or AONB, with visitors contributing more than £6bn each year to the local economy. The review will also consider how National Parks and AONBs deliver their responsibilities and are financed; these areas offer great value for money with public spending on these landscapes less than £1 per person each year.

"It is also important that existing National Parks and AONBs are well resourced and able to deliver their responsibilities effectively. This includes by ensuring they continue to have the highest level of planning protection in the revised national planning framework."

"We look forward to working with Government and the independent panel to create a brighter future for England’s National Parks and AONBs. This is a wonderful opportunity to ensure our finest landscapes remain just as beautiful for the benefit of current and future generations."

Recent CPRE research has found that the pressure for major housing development in AONBs has doubled, with the amount of land approved for housing increasing five-fold, making this review particularly timely.

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