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September 28, 2011 1:57 PM

TF ruralToday South Lakes MP Tim Farron has cautiously welcomed news that Natural England has voted to extend the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks. Tim did caution that is now time for the National Park authorities to reassure local communities that they will get democratic accountability and that fears over planning restrictions will resolved.

The proposals voted on today place the Orton Fells, the northern Howgill Fells, the Mallerstang Valley and the Casterton and Barbon fells up to the River Lune would be included in an extended Dales national park. It will also place Birkbeck Fells to Whinfell and Helsington Barrows to Sizergh Fell and theLythValleyinto theLake Districtnational park.

Commenting on the news Tim said: "The landscape and the communities that will come into the national park are stunningly beautiful and include important scientific areas. This area really is worthy of inclusion in our national parks. There will be many people who feel uneasy about the communities like Casterton, Barbon and Ravenstonedale joining the Yorkshire dales national park and Brigsteer joining the Lake District national park. Fears that excessive planning restrictions and lack of accountability exists in the minds of many residents and it is now the job of the Dales and the Lake District park authorities to demonstrate that these take these fears on board and will act to allay them."