The myth: The Daily Telegraph has today said that planning regulations in National Parks could be relaxed and that Ministers want to add a third purpose of sustainable development to the duties of the parks.
The truth: This is just not true. There are no plans to relax planning laws in National Parks. They are our most treasured landscapes and will remain that way.
The Commission for Rural Communities suggested that National Parks should be given a third purpose, on socio-economic development, which would have equal status with their existing purposes of conservation and recreation. Ministers have made clear that they do not agree with this, but that we would consult on whether a change to the National Park Authorities’ duty or other changes, such as improving guidance, would help them deliver sustainable development as set out in the Government’s 2010 Vision. This in no way means relaxing planning laws in our National Parks but is about ensuring that National Park Authorities can do their important job. The National Park Authorities have been involved in this work and fully support us.