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Sargeant spells out terms of national park and AONB review

Words: Roger Milne
Snowdonia National Park

The Welsh government has confirmed that the independent review of the governance of the country’s designated landscapes (i.e. National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) will, after all, include the future planning regime for the parks.

That clarification came as minister for natural resources Carl Sargeant, who is also planning minister, named Professor Terry Marsden, director of Cardiff University’s Sustainable Places Research Institute as the chair of the independent panel that will carry out the two-stage review.

The other panel members will be John Lloyd Jones and Dr Ruth Williams.

Stage one will examine the designations themselves, looking at the purposes of these landscapes and the merits of classifying Wales’s designated landscapes under one type of designation.

Stage two will consider the governance arrangements of designated landscapes. It will review governance and management arrangements, and consider the recommendations of the Commission on Public Service Governance and Delivery as part of this. 

It will also take account of future arrangements for planning in National Parks in the light of the Planning (Wales) Bill, said the government. 

Sargeant explained: “I want to ensure that our designated landscapes are best equipped to meet current and future challenges while building upon their internationally recognised status. 

“The review will consider whether the existing arrangements are best placed to deliver these objectives and, if not, what changes should be made in order to achieve them.”