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Authority welcomes regional planning proposals

This is an archived press release

Monday 17 December 2007

17 December 2007

Authority welcomes regional planning proposals

Affordable homes for local people would continue to be a priority in the Peak District National Park under a proposed review of the East Midlands Regional Plan.

National park authority leaders have welcomed the recommendation that regional house-building targets should not apply to the national park because of its special conservation status, and that any new housing should emphasise social needs.

The recommendation comes in an independent panel’s report on the draft regional plan for the future development of the East Midlands until 2026.

The report, which now goes to the Government, also urges that other local authorities and organisations around the national park should actively help to support its environmental, social and economic aims.

Authority chair Narendra Bajaria said: “I welcome the recognition that protecting the national park from over-development is paramount, and that other organisations should help promote this responsibility, as many already do.

“I’m also glad they recognise that lower-cost housing for local people should remain a priority, provided it can be sensitively-sited and designed. We want to promote a network of sustainable communities, where young families, workers and the elderly can continue to live and have good access to a range of local services and job opportunities.”

Other recommendations include support for the long-term reduction of quarrying in the national park as planning permissions run out over the next few decades and stronger policies on climate change, flood-reduction and biodiversity. The panel also recognises that large-scale renewable energy schemes would intrude on the national park landscape, but this does not preclude sensitively-sited smaller schemes.

The panel’s report will now be assessed by the Government, and after a further eight weeks public consultation next spring, it is hoped the final regional plan will be produced in autumn 2008.

For more details, and access to the panel report, go to: http://www.gos.gov.uk/goem/news/panelreportrss/

This is an archived press release

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