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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

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Lake District National Park expansion plans go to public inquiry

CONTROVERSIAL plans to extend the size of the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales will face a public inquiry.

Natural England has announced proposals to extend the boundaries of the National Parks, which would increase their combined area by 500 square kilometres (193 square miles).

But local authorities affected by the proposals have objected, triggering an inquiry which is expected to open in June.

Minister for the natural environment Richard Benyon told MPs: “Over 3,000 objections, representations or expressions of support were received in response to the proposals, including objections from five local authorities.

“It is a statutory requirement that a public inquiry is held if at least one local authority with land in a proposed extension raises an objection to a relevant variation order.

“I have therefore commissioned a public inquiry into the recommended boundary changes and an inspector from the Planning Inspectorate has been appointed to conduct the inquiry.”

A pre-inquiry meeting will take place in March with the full hearings, which could last four weeks, expected to begin in early June.

Following the inquiry the inspector will make recommendations to Environment Secretary Owen Paterson who will decide whether to modify, approve or reject the plans.


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