National Parks and AONBs to remain separate but with a common purpose

Welsh report proposes integrated approach to designated landscapes

The stage one report of the Review of Designated Landscapes in Wales has now appeared, with a number of recommendations.

The report, commissioned by the Welsh Government, looks at National Parks and AONBs (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and makes a number of recommendations. 

These include: 
• There should not be a single designation, but
• There should be one set of statutory purposes and an associated single statutory duty for both designations.
• The name 'Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty' (AONBs) should be changed to 'National Landscapes of Wales'
• There should be three interlocking statutory purposes forboth the National Parks and National Landscapes. These are:
 – To conserve and enhance the distinctive landscape and seascape qualities of
the area (the Conservation Purpose)
 – To promote physical and mental well-being through the enjoyment and understanding of the landscape of the area, (the Human Well-being Purpose) 
 – To promote sustainable forms of natural resource management andeconomic and community development which support the cultural heritage of the area. (the Sustainable Resource Management Purpose)

Stage two of the review will be based on the following remit: 
(i) Review the governance and management arrangements of the designated landscapes;
(ii) Review and examine how any governing body/bodies would best promote collaboration and joint working while avoiding duplication; and
(iii) Review and examine how any future governing body would best reinforce local accountability and decision making.

The review panel is chaired by Professor Terry Marsden of Cardiff University with John Lloyd Jones and Dr Ruth Williams as members. Ruth Williams is the LI's policy officer for Wales.

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