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National Park extension - let local communities decide in referendum, says Tim

December 14, 2009 12:00 AM

"Controversial plans to extend the boundaries of the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales national parks should only be agreed if residents of the communities involved say 'yes' in a local referendum," says local MP and Shadow Defra Secretary Tim Farron.

"There are advantages and disadvantages to being in a national park. One major disadvantage can be that planning and other decisions cease to be decided democratically and that attempts to develop affordable homes for local families can become much more difficult."

"From a conservation of landscape point of view, there are of course advantages too - but it's essential that those communities that would move into one of the national parks have the final say on whether or not they are included. A local referendum must take place to give residents the chance to make the decision, otherwise the so-called 'consultation' will just be meaningless."