Most people are excited by the idea of being in a National Park. There are also understandable concerns about how the designation would impact on their everyday lives. Here are some frequently expressed anxieties:
A National Park could inhibit development
Statistics show that Scottish National Parks approve a higher percentage of planning applications than local authorities. The law in Scotland actually requires National Parks to “promote sustainable economic and social development”.
A National Park might reduce local influence on control and decision making
The GNPA believes that a National Park would do exactly the opposite. Any National Park Authority in Galloway would be based here and be made up of a majority of local people.
A National Park might affect house prices
Anything which has a positive economic impact on an area may affect house prices. The relationship between National Park designation and house price inflation is complex but Galloway’s house prices are currently well below the national average and in many cases property values are not even rising in line with inflation. In National Parks where housing affordability has become an issue Parks have taken action to help secure well designed housing that local people can afford.
We don’t want to be like the Lake District!
Galloway’s tranquility is one of its most cherished assets: no one wants to change that. But Galloway stands to make a variety of gains by increasing its visitor numbers and has the capacity to absorb them without detriment. Geography alone makes it inconceivable that we would ever see the kind of visitor pressure found in the Lake District, but a National Park would have the skills and the remit to manage tourism impacts to the benefit of both our visitors and our communities.