National park plans a ‘backward step’

IT will be a backward step if Whitby were to be included in the national park.

This was a comment made by Scarborough borough councillor Jane Kenyon at a meeting of the council’s cabinet last week.

It was debating a proposal by Whitby Town Council that the town and nearby parishes of Eskdaleside-cum-Ugglebarnby (predominantly Sleights village); the parish of Lythe (including Sandsend); and the parish of Newholme-cum-Dunsley should become part of the North York Moors National Park.

The Government body, Natural England, is producing new guidance as to what can be accepted in the national park and in another area of the county, towns the size of Whitby have been included in the national park and it was asked at the meeting that the Cabinet wait for the guidance.

Coun Kenyon told the meeting it would be a “backward step” if Whitby were included in the National Park while Coun Clegg added there was a large area of concern that was not represented.

She said any town that depended on one industry was very vulnerable and there was no concern for employment in the document from Whitby Town Council adding she hoped that when the paper went to the council’s planning and development committee there was some consideration for employment in the town.

She described the town council’s paper as having a “very narrowly focused view” and did not see Whitby as a whole.

Coun Jonathan Dixon told the meeting he thought it was for the residents of Whitby to put forward their viewpoints.

The Cabinet agreed at the meeting that upon receiving the new guidance from Natural England it would refer the document to the council’s head of Tourism and Culture and the head of planning and regeneration to prepare a report reviewing the potential impact of the town council’s recommendation.

The borough council will also write to the parishes to ask for their comments on the town council’s proposal.

It also agreed to inform Whitby Town Council that it will not respond formally to the document until it has received the detailed planning and tourism advice and comments from the parishes informed by revised guidance from Natural England.