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|Campaign: South Downs National Park|
energy and resources
Process Back On Track
by Margaret Paren
The process to confirm the South Downs National Park designation order was put on hold over a year ago because of the High Court ruling on land within the New Forest National Park managed by the Meyrick Estate.
In early 2006 the Government introduced amendments into the NERC Bill (now the NERC Act) to clarify the designation criteria for national parks. Defra also took the case to the Court of Appeal. The hearing took place in November 2006 and the decision was made in February this year. Although the Appeal Court found in favour of the Meyrick Estate, it did so on very narrow grounds.
Accordingly Defra wrote in March to all who provided representations to the public inquiry on the South Downs National Park to say that the process has now been resumed. Defra plan to invite further representations on outstanding matters that were not fully addressed in the inquiry, including any implications arising from the Meyrick judgements and the NERC Act revisions.
It is good news that the process is now underway again but frustrating that there will be further delays. It is to be hoped that the process will not be prolonged further by unnecessary objections. The area badly needs the cash and certainty that would follow the confirmation of the designation order.
This page updated 12th July 2007
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