Dorset will earn an enormous amount of money if plans for a national park status will push through. The money could boost the rural economy and tourism and support affordable housing. These claims were heard in a Tuesday evening meeting by Dorchester Civic Society at the Dorford Centre.
However, there is a downside to this. Planning control could be handed over to bodies who are not elected directly, and waves of businessmen might purchase properties in the area to improve their own investment incomes. Promoters believe they would still earn benefits despite the unlikeliness of larger towns to be part of the status.
The group had already encouraged those standing for the local elections in May to support the National Park bid. Sandra Brown of the Dorset National Park Proposal Team said that if they want a national park, they need to do everything in their power to convince the councilors to support it. She added that the national park status will employ 90-100 local citizens and will promote the profile of the county worldwide as a tourism spot and a great place to invest in businesses. Weymouth, Portland Borough, and other several councils have already supported the plans. According to Ian Duckworth, the status will also help in the protection of endangered species and habitats in Dorset.
Areas to be included in the National Park status have yet to be identified as heard by the Dorchester meeting. But a proposal that the park should follow the boundaries of the new Dorset Council in May is highly supported.
However, the fruition for this National Park status could still be a few years away even if all goes accordingly. This is due to rival bids expected from the Chilterns and the Cotswolds.