Former National Park Authority boss reveals 14 ways to empower National Parks 

  • Contributor information: CNP

Former North York Moors Chief Executive Andy Wilson spoke passionately at the last National Park Societies conference hosted by North York Moors Association, and Campaign for National Parks’ Council Meeting and AGM about his vision for National Parks. As the Government releases its response to the Landscapes Review, Andy outlines 14 key changes he’d like to see… 

  1. Make National Park Management Plans enforceable: Give National Park Authorities (NPAs) powers to act for nature on specific sites similar to those they have for Listed Buildings; Give NPAs powers to manage land in defined zones as Highways Authorities do on roads. 
  2. Place a duty to further National Park purposes on all public bodies. 
  3. Introduce higher standards of regulation on private utility companies in National Parks. 
  4. Create statutory positions in external bodies – of Ecologist, Archaeologist and Access Officer – with power to call in decisions contrary to National Park Purposes. 
  5. Re-instate planning powers lost since 2010, strengthen control over tracks and external lighting; clarify that the economic tests in the Major Development Test relate to national scale issues not local ones. 
  6. Give NPAs power to stop tourism developments which do not have a sustainable wider transport impact. 
  7. Give NPAs the ability to ban second homes in identified zones and introduce financial penalties on these more widely. 
  8. Give NPAs a veto over Forest Design Plans which do not meet high conservation and access standards and make them statutory consultees on felling applications. 
  9. Introduce a levy, at a level determined by the public, on water company bills, to pay for environmental work in National Parks (similar to the national undergrounding fund). 
  10. Transfer all publicly owned car parks to the relevant NPA to aid integrated transport management. 
  11. Reduce multi-member local authority representation on NPA Boards and add representatives of interest groups. 
  12. Establish a permanent cross departmental National Park group to expedite educational, road signage etc issues, with an annual report to Defra, NE and NPAs. 
  13. Conduct a study of international practice in protected areas to glean further ideas on the best management of our National Parks. 
  14. Find Ministers who will enthusiastically support National Park purposes, exhort the NPAs to fearlessly follow them and back them up when the going gets tough.       

Watch Andy talk about this more on NYMA’s YouTube channel.

Campaign for National Parks is working with Friends and partners to draft a full response to the Government’s plans for the Landscapes Review. Join the movement and have your say too. We’re stronger together.