Responce to Yorkshire Dales Boundary Extension Consultation
Response to Lakes to Dales Landscape Designation project on behalf of Kirkby Lonsdale and District Civic Society
The geographical limits of our ‘Area of Interest’ as defined in our Constitution, is the so-called Rainbow Parish, comprising the seven parishes of Kirkby Lonsdale, Casterton, Barbon, Middleton, Mansergh, Lupton and Hutton Roof. We have thus limited our comments to the proposals affecting only that area.
Yorkshire Dales National Park
We are supportive of all the proposed boundary extension and the deletion of the Underley Park sports area. There was no logic to the previous dog-leg western boundary to the extension across the Lune Valley, and we suggested using the Old Scots Road as a preferred boundary in the previous round of consultation.
We would also now like to suggest that Burnsbeck Moss in Middleton, a SSSI, which the proposed boundary currently skirts, should be added to Addition 4.
Strategic Environmental Assessment
We are in broad agreement with the effects identified in the document as likely to result from designation, and can identify no major omissions.
The overriding benefit is the protection of the character and special qualities of the landscape from future depredations, including windfarms.
Having studied the activities of YDNPA , we believe that there would be a long term benefit in terms of Biodiversity through improved land management, possibly including some regeneration of woodlands, and due to the availability of expertise and access to additional funding.
There is not an extensive network of PROWs in the Lune valley and they are not particularly well maintained, and we are confident that there would be a substantial benefit to PROWs under the management of the National Park.
Protection of, and enhanced access to cultural heritage and the historic environment in the designated area is of interest to our members, and we believe that YDNPA’s record suggests that this would be better safeguarded within the National Park than at present.
It is unclear whether a greater proportion of Affordable Housing will be built, or more quickly, following designation of the Lune valley as National Park, but we feel the situation is unlikely to become worse. This is a major area of concern whether designated or not.
Planning control is a contentious issue everywhere, but the YDNPA comes in for much criticism. Extensive investigation suggests that the real major cause of dissent is the higher standards of design and materials that are usually enforced. Protection of the landscape is so important that it is to be expected that higher standards will be applied, but if designation occurs the NPA must take care that affordable housing is not discouraged by over-specification.
One practical matter to be addressed following designation is the physical remoteness of the Planning Authority for householders in the western extension of YDNPA. Some form of local surgery, as provided at present by SLDC, will be necessary.
No proposals have been made regarding the name of the NPA if designation goes ahead, but this seems to be a major hurdle for people locally, who have not yet come to terms with living in Cumbria following the abolition of Westmorland in 1974.
Equality Impact Assessment
We have little comment on this section.
The activities of the LDNPA to encourage and enable disabled people to experience some of the natural beauty of the area, for example through the “miles without stiles” programme, is more wide-ranging that anything taking place in Cumbria. Assuming such a commitment remains then this would be a very positive aspect of designation in our area.