Better protected

Protection against inappropriate and over-development

National Parks contain some of our most beautiful countryside, treasured heritage and rare wildlife.  However, since they were first created in the 1950s, damaging planning proposals for mines, roads and other large scale developments have been allowed to go ahead, chipping away at their protected status.

We can’t let major development ruin our National Parks – blog by our policy and research manager Ruth Bradshaw

We want National Parks to be protected against inappropriate and over-development that compromise their beauty and special qualities. This means ensuring that the additional protection provided to them in planning policy is implemented, maintained and enhanced.

Our work to make sure National Parks are better protected

Calling on the Government to demonstrate their commitment to National Parks

Major development has a big impact on National Parks. We wanted to find out how much. So we commissioned Sheffield Hallam University to research 70 previous planning applications for major development in the National Parks. The findings were clear – even though the Parks have the highest level of planning protection, the Government’s drive for economic growth has led to a number of inappropriate major developments being granted permission both within the Parks and in their settings. As a result of this, we are now calling on the Government to demonstrate their commitment to protecting National Parks. Find out more here.

See the report: National Parks – Planning for the Future

See the report: An Examination of the Development and Implementation of Planning Policy Relating to Major Development in the English and Welsh National Parks by Sheffield Hallam University

Making sure Local Plans secure protection for National Parks against major development

One of the recommendations from our report, National Parks – Planning for the Future was to ensure National Park Authorities had Local Plans which were clear about how the major development test should be applied in relation to the special qualities of the National Park, in order to help reinforce and support local decision-making. To help people influence their Local Plans when National Park Authorities are consulting on them, we have produced this briefing. Have a read and if you have any further questions please get in touch on