National Parks Protection under threat

21st Jan 2013

 

Sign our e-petition to keep them safe.

 

We are joining forces with the Campaign for National Parks to call on the Government to remove a clause from their proposed Growth and Infrastructure Bill which proposes a five year suspension to some of the protection afforded to National Parks.

 

The Government has recently presented the Growth and Infrastructure Bill, which includes proposals to suspend some of the protection afforded to National Parks for the installation of broadband infrastructure, mainly through the installation of overhead telecoms cables, for a period of five years. The availability of high speed broadband is now vital to the livelihoods of so many businesses and residents based in the Peak District and other rural areas. Our charity is fully supportive of initatives that improve access to this for rural communities. 

The Government claims that the current protection afforded to National Parks is delaying the installation of broadband, but they have failed to demonstrate that this is the case. On the contrary, there are plenty of examples of how superfast broadband is being delivered to the most remote locations in ways that are sympathetic to the environment and our most precious landscapes. 
 

The Bill proposes to allow the installation of communications infrastructure, including overhead telecoms cabling for broadband, without the need for prior approval from the planning authority, for a period of five years


Friends of the Peak District is joining the Campaign for National Parks in calling on the Government to remove Clause 8 from the Growth and Infrastructure Bill.  The proposal represents a dangerous precedent, and implies that protective designations are only for when times are good.  We believe that during the tough times, those of pressure and uncertainly, that the protection of National Parks is more important than ever. The Bill is progressing quickly through the parliamentary process, already in the House of Lords, and we need your urgent support to ensure new laws removing National Park protection are not passed.  We want to stop the installation of unnecessary and unsightly overhead telecoms cabling in National Parks.

Communities have worked closely with regulators over many years to fund and implement programmes to underground unsightly overhead power lines.  Ofgem has recently announced £500m to underground electricity transmission lines in National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and £60m has already been allocated to putting electricity distribution lines underground.   The Government’s proposals are a false economy.  Resources saved now represent huge costs for future generations to repair the damage.

If you feel the same way we do, please sign the e-petition here.