SHOULD OUR PARISH BECOME PART OF THE
SOUTH DOWNS NATIONAL PARK
As part of the 25 Year Environment Plan, the government has asked an expert panel to look at how the National Parks protections can be renewed.
The review’s purpose is to ask what might be done better, what changes could assist these areas, and whether definitions and systems – which in many cases date back to their original creation – are still sufficient.
The review will include looking at the case for extension or creation of new designated areas for the parks – this could possibly include Ropley parish which is adjacent to SDNP.
The Parish Council, having asked for Ropley people to give their opinions on this opportunity, received a favourable response at the December council meeting and voted to apply for Ropley’s membership within the SDNP.
You can also respond to the DEFRA website https://consult.defra.gov.uk/land-use/landscapes-review-call-for-evidence/consultation/ Some of the questions do not directly relate to your submission but question 20 is the question applicable to Ropley’s possible inclusion in the SDNP.
For guidance Ropley Society shows below, what it believes are the pros and cons to consider in joining the National Park:-
- More restrictive planning environment and the loyalty to policies set out in our Neighbourhood Plan.
- No permitted development rights – pretty much everything needs full permission.
- Increased visitor numbers can generate business opportunities to serve visitors, for example
- Café and Shop, B&B & Cycle Hire
- Increased investment in tourism infrastructure for Footpaths & Environmental Projects
- Quarry ?
- Village Pond?
- Probable increase in visitor numbers may trigger investment in public transport to better serve the village
- House pricing (house prices would likely increase)
- Increased community focus and greater influence and support for local people’s collective views and opinions.
- As most settlements within the National park are smaller towns and villages which typically have lower priority for investment from regional and local government, so being within the SDNP we should enjoy a greater share of the available investment.
- Better opportunity for Parish Council to influence East Hants AOB policies though ‘inclusion within SDNP’ than at present..
- Greater protection for our current dark skies policy as it would fall within the International Dark Skies Reserve status that the SDNP currently has in place.
- More restrictive planning environment.
- Householder extensions and outbuildings would have to meet more restrictive guidelines.
- Permitted development rights are generally suspended within National Parks.
- Very limited new house building opportunities (some might see this as a pro)
- SDNP plan for 100 houses per year in SDNP part of EHDC district.
- But if villages want more this can be addressed through the Neighbourhood Plan.
- Increased publicity once in park will lead to increased visitor numbers.
- Probable increase in visitor numbers leads to increased car numbers with associated parking requirements. (again this should be tackled through the Neighbourhood Plan)
- House pricing.
- House prices would likely increase. (some might view this as a pro)
- Less affordable for young families although the draft SDNP plan requires 50% affordable housing on new developments.
- Leads to potential viability issues for school.
- Greater levels of bureaucracy in planning decisions.