WEST Dorset MP Chris Loder has welcomed news that Dorset will not be designated a National Park.
Natural England has confirmed that Dorset will not face the prospect of National Park designation this year.
Mr Loder, who has campaigned against the county becoming a National Park, said: “The government has clearly listened to our feedback and think we are better off as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty rather than a National Park.”
Mr Loder received the news yesterday from Natural England, confirming that a Dorset National Park was not chosen to progress this year, with Natural England instead focusing on designating areas in the Chilterns and the Surrey Hills, and creating two new AONBs in the Yorkshire Wolds and Cheshire Sandstone Ridge.
Mr Loder added: “I have campaigned in the interested of local people for some time.
“While I understand there are benefits and weaknesses with a National Park, I believe the weaknesses outweigh the benefits with so much evidence pointing towards a lesser quality of life, less employment income and tougher business operating conditions. And with the coronavirus recovery taking place, this is the right thing for West Dorset.”