PLANS to extend the boundaries of the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District national parks have been put on hold – to allow the creation of a new park in southern England.
At present, there is a gap between the boundaries of the Lake District and Dales parks along roughly the lines of the M6 motorway and it has been suggested that the two should meet up.
But this would need public enquiry by Natural England, which is already involved in a similar enquiry to set up the new South Downs National Park and this has been given the go ahead over the northern project.
Sir Martin Doughty, Chair of Natural England explained: “We want to be sure that we are fully prepared for this consultation. The South Downs National Park Public Inquiry re-opened last week, and it has become clear that the Inspector will be hearing evidence on matters that may impact on any designation work in the North West.”
Liz Newton, Natural England's Regional Director for the North West said: “This has been a very difficult decision to reach. The designation work in the North West is a high priority for Natural England and I know how important it is too many people in the region.
“However, it is useful that the Inspector in the South Downs has agreed to look at these nationally important issues again. When the implications of the South Downs inquiry become clear we can then resume our work in the North West.”