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The Norfolk Broads Forum / Ask JP 5 / National Parks Review - Draft Response
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Posted By Discussion Topic: National Parks Review - Draft Response

Similar Threads That Might Help :
Broads: National Parks plan being drafted| Response to BA Bill Draft 2| National Park money crisis| Broads set for National Park status| The Broads National Park Authority Bill| Doubts Over Broads " National Park " name |

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Forresters
Nov-19-2018 @ 2:52 PM                           Permalink
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John

Comments & consideration set out in 1b refers.

The National Parks have two statutory purposes with the Broads having a distinct additional purpose  “protecting the interests of navigation over and above the two given to the English National Park Authorities".

The BA response refers to bygone days and promotes clarification of "navigation" to specifically state recreational use.  Comments suggest navigation could be subsumed into purpose 2 with a change of wording to mention navigation.  In contrast under consideration the BA suggest their responsibilities are reviewed relating to recreational use of the waterways so that the stated purposes better reflect modern use, ie this may mean that the wording of Broads' additional purpose is changed.

Please explain why any change is needed to the statutory NP purpose and the additional purpose of the Broads.  On the face of it the additional purpose remains appropriate and relevant regardless of perceived changes to navigation vessels.


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batrabill
Nov-20-2018 @ 2:55 PM                           Permalink
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Can I add something to this?

There is a belief among groups you know well like Protect The Broads We are Not a National Park, that this is an attempt to remove the responsibility for Navigation from the 3 Purposes. This would align The Broads with the other National parks and allow The Broads to become a full NP.

Is this true?
Do you acknowledge how it "looks" if it isn't true?
What assurances can you give that you do not intend to follow this path?

Bill

JollyRodger
Nov-20-2018 @ 9:13 PM                           Permalink
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Excellent question, Bill, but one that is not without problems. Recently a statement from the BA Chairman has been published on-line, with the Chairman's consent, that appears to be at odds with the BA's response to the National Park's Review. I'm afraid that however Dr Packman responds to your question he is going to have to go some to unmuddy the water. Thanks for asking the question, it needs asking and it definitely needs answering.  

Jolly Rodger

JP
Nov-22-2018 @ 3:43 PM                           Permalink
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Dear Forresters,

The ambition for the National Park Review is to ensure that national parks are “fit for the future.”

The scope of the review includes examining and making recommendations on the existing statutory purposes, the case for extension, their financing, how to improve governance of, and enhance the environment and biodiversity in, National Parks.

In the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Act 1988 the Broads Authority was given three general functions:

(1) It shall be the general duty of the Authority to manage the Broads for the purposes of—

(a) conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of the Broads;
(b) promoting the enjoyment of the Broads by the public; and
(c) protecting the interests of navigation.

In discharging its functions, the Authority had to have regard to—

(a) the national importance of the Broads as an area of natural beauty and one which affords opportunities for open-air recreation;
(b) the desirability of protecting the natural resources of the Broads from damage; and
(c) the needs of agriculture and forestry and the economic and social interests of those who live or work in the Broads.

The first two general functions replicated the wording for National Parks in the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949.

The Broads Authority was given additional functions in relation to the navigation area. Section 10 of the 1988 Act states:

(1) The Authority shall—

(a) maintain the navigation area for the purposes of navigation to such standard as appears to it to be reasonably required; and
(b) take such steps to improve and develop it as it thinks fit.

In 1995 the National Park purposes were modified and expanded to read:

“(1) The provisions of this Part of this Act shall have effect for the purpose—

(a) of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the areas specified in the next following subsection; and
(b) of promoting opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of those areas by the public.”

The Broads Authority’s functions were re-aligned with the National Park purposes by the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 to read:

“(1) It shall be the general duty of the Authority to manage the Broads for the purposes of—

(a) conserving and enhancing the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Broads;
(b) promoting opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the Broads by the public; and
(c) protecting the interests of navigation.”

The question the Chairs’ Group of the Broads Authority asks in its paper to the meeting on Friday is:

“Whether to review the Authority’s responsibilities in relation to the recreational use of the waterways (Note: Section 2 (i) (b) of the 1988 Act), protecting the interests of navigation (Note: Section 2 (i) (c) of the 1988 Act) and maintaining the navigation area (Note: Section 10 (i) of the 1988 Act) in a way so the wording of the purposes better serves the modern use of the waterways and interests of all those with a stake in the Broads”.

Far from weakening the Authority’s functions with regard to navigation, my understanding is that the suggestion from the Chairs’ Group is that the wording in Section 2 on the general functions of the Authority could be expanded and developed to give a stronger and greater emphasis to the Authority’s role as a navigation and harbour authority.

Regards

John


JP
Nov-22-2018 @ 3:47 PM                           Permalink
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Dear batrabill,

I have sometimes used a description of the Broads Authority as a National Park Authority Plus to describe the responsibilities of the Authority – it has the powers and responsibilities of a National Park Authority but on top of that has the responsibility for the maintenance of navigation with all that goes with that. Whilst I am unlikely to change deeply held beliefs from those that believe there are hidden motives I hope the answers below go some way to dispel these myths.

Is this true? NO

Do you acknowledge how it "looks" if it isn't true?

The wording by the Chair’s Group does not in any shape or form suggest a downgrading in the Broads Authority’s responsibilities towards navigation. It does seem to have been mis-interpreted by some. As stated in my answer to the first point on this subject it is designed to try and strengthen the emphasis of Navigation within our core purposes.

What assurances can you give that you do not intend to follow this path?

The Broads Authority has made its position clear on this. At its meeting on 23rd January 2015 it “resolved, in line with the suggestions from the Broads Hire Boat Federation & the Norfolk and Suffolk Boating Association, not to pursue the ambition in the Broads Plan 2011 for the Broads to become a national park in law; and for the avoidance of doubt, the Authority indicates that it has no intention of seeking the application of the Sandford Principle to the Broads Authority’s functions because it is of the view that the Habitats Regulations provide sufficient protection for the very special qualities of the area.”

Hope that clarifies things.

Regards

John

JP
Nov-22-2018 @ 3:49 PM                           Permalink
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Dear Jolly Rodger

I sincerely hope that my answers on this topic have made our position absolutely clear.

The two responses you refer to are not at odds with each other and unfortunately have been misinterpreted or perhaps misrepresented by some.

The Broads Authority takes its responsibilities regarding navigation very seriously and whilst there are challenges to overcome and much more work to do I am very proud of the numerous achievements and progress that we have made.

Regards

John



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