CPRW Brecon & Radnor Branch have learnt that the review of Welsh designated landscapes called “Future Landscapes, Delivering for Wales” will be discussed in the Senedd on Tuesday 6th June.
We are deeply concerned for Brecon Beacons National Park, most of which lies in our area, but also for the two other National Parks in Wales: Snowdonia and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and also Welsh Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs).
The Welsh Government plans to create new legislation regarding National Parks and AONBs in Wales. The Future Landscapes Wales (FLW) Report proposals could see the Welsh National Parks’ status change to Protected Landscapes (as defined by the IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature), which is a lower protected status.
This would mean that it would change the legal framework for the Welsh National Parks to prioritise development of tourism, economic development and renewable energy, at the expense of the Parks’ existing status as bastions of unspoilt nature. Although all the above can be regarded as worthy objectives, in this instance it would be at the cost of protected landscapes and the quiet enjoyment for which national parks were originally established, and could have a serious impact on nature and wildlife in the areas.
Furthermore, the FLW Report sidelines the Sandford Principle, a key part of the legal framework for UK National Parks, which asserts the primacy of Conservation issues in cases of conflict of interest.
We are asking you to a) email your Assembly Member urgently to tell them that you would like them to support the Plaid Cymru amendments for the debate, which are:
1. Add as new point 3 and renumber accordingly:
Regrets that the report does not deal with the Sandford Principle as set out in the Environment Act 1995. [Environment Act 1995]
2. Add as new point at end of motion:
Believes that any change in the legislation governing National Parks should be taken through the Assembly as primary legislation.”
and b) to ask your Assembly Member (see below for contact details) to help to:
• defend the proper protection and management of, and resources for, the National Parks and AONBs;
• ensure that conservation and quiet enjoyment of the special qualities of the designated areas remain central to their purposes;
• ensure that the Sandford principle is retained to secure their protection from inappropriate development;
• hold a full public consultation before making any changes to the purposes of National Parks or AONBs
Please do this as soon as you get this message. The debate is tomorrow! Thank you.
With best wishes from Brecon and Radnor Branch, Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales.