National parks, one of those rare great ideas, were never as safe as we might have hoped, anywhere. They need protection from liberalization, not indulgence in the very things we protected those spaces from in the first place:
Documents show zones with ‘liberalised’ planning laws could get go-ahead even in the most environmentally protected areas
Investment zones with “liberalised” planning laws to accelerate development could be designated within national parks and in the most environmentally protected areas of the UK, government documents reveal.
Details of the government’s new zones to increase housebuilding and commercial development reveal councils can apply for zones in national parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty, (AONBs) sites of special scientific interest, (SSSIs) and green belt land.
The deadline for councils to apply to host an investment zone is 14 October. The government says the zones “will benefit from tax incentives, planning liberalisation and wider support for the local economy” and will be granted after a “rapid” selection process.
Councils applying for the zones are asked: “For each proposed investment zone please provide details about whether the proposed development would be on land which is in:
- A national park.
- An area of outstanding natural beauty.
- A site of special scientific interest, or equivalent designation.
- The buffer zone of a world heritage site.
- Designated green belt.
The document states: “Key planning policies to ensure developments are well designed, maintain national policy on the green belt, protect our heritage and address flood risk, highway and other public safety matters along with building regulations will continue to apply.”…
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