Isles of Scilly 'may become National Park'
There is a possibility that the Isles of Scilly could become a National Park.
Cllr Jonathan Smith spoke about the idea at the most recent Full Council meeting while discussing the AONB National Conference. He and former Councillor Johann Hicks attended the event in July.
Cllr Smith explained that a main issue at the conference was Defra Minister Michael Gove's appointment of Julian Glover to carry out a Review of Protected Landscapes.
He told Members: "This is nationwide and covers all AONBs and national parks. It’s slightly unclear what the aim of the review is, but it's possible that there’ll be an increase in the number of national parks and changes to the legislation and strength around AONBs.
"We are covered completely by an AONB here so there could be implications - personally I think they would probably be positive implications - for us in the future.
"We’ve been advised by our AONB officer Julian Pearce that the author of the report Julian Glover has been in contact and will be discussing this with our AONB."
He added: "It could be that there’s a possibility on the table that there will be a proposal to make Scilly a national park. That’s only a possibility, nothing is written down at all, but these things are being discussed. I just really wanted to make Members aware that these discussions are ongoing."
Cllr Marian Berkeley said she recalled there being a technical issue when National Park status was discussed several years ago.
Craig Dryden, Senior Manager for Infrastructure & Planning, explained: "One of the issues for the Isles of Scilly in terms of National Park status is it's very self-contained, and in that respect it actually does work well in terms of National Park status probably rather than AONB status.
"Having said that, no National Park is a unitary authority and they only have limited powers and roles because usually they're enshrined in districts and also counties so that would be a major implications moving forward. I think that's probably the technical issue."