Council will undertake evaluation of potential National Park designation
Release date: 15 May 2018
Members of Cotswold District Council have today agreed a cross-party motion requesting officers to carry out an evaluation of the potential benefits and disadvantages of designating the Cotswolds as a National Park.
Working with counterparts from other local authorities that would probably fall within the footprint of a Cotswolds National Park, CDC will aim to gain a better understanding of the implications for residents, including possible increases in housing costs.
The motion, which was proposed by Liberal Democrat group leader Councillor Joe Harris and seconded by CDC Cabinet Member for Housing, Health and Leisure Cllr Stephen Hirst, was given unanimous support.
Following the vote Cllr Harris said:
“We know that local MPs have generated interest in this issue and it is important that we now gain a full understanding of all of the issues involved in designating a new National Park area. While it is clear that there are benefits for the tourism sector, we are concerned about the possible impact on future affordable housing provision, and local responsibility for planning matters. Setting up this evaluation with other affected authorities means that we should be well placed to respond to any possible consultation process and – hopefully – it will provide us with a significant body of evidence to inform our views.”
Echoing these views, Cllr Hirst added:
“About 80% of the District comprises Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty so there is already a good level of protection afforded to our landscape and communities. However, National Park designation is a significant step further and raises the prospect of key decision making powers being taken away from democratically elected councillors working on behalf of local residents.”