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Posted By Discussion Topic: Broads National Park - The FAQ

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Feb-18-2018 @ 12:55 PM                           Permalink
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Mudplug Juggler
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In his thread ‘Broads National Park’, JP mentioned and provided a link to a set of FAQ  on the Broad Authority’s web site.

I have had the opportunity to read them and this is my response (these are not the whole FAQ, just parts about which I wish to comment). I view them as blatant and misleading propaganda, sprinkled with half-truths, which do the Broads Authority no credit whatsoever. The FAQ are in italics. I have added some 'key dates' that the FAQ conveniently ignore.


Why is the Broads referred to as a National Park?

It is perfectly reasonable and entirely appropriate for the Broads to be referred to as a National Park.

Hardly reasonable and appropriate, when it isn’t actually a national park.

In 1988 the Westminster Parliament gave the Broads the same status as the other National Parks designated under National Park and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 (as did the Scottish Parliament for the Cairngorms and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs by the National Parks Scotland Act 2000).

WRONG. Parliament did not give the Broads that status. The 1988 Act doesn’t mention ‘status’ at all. The Scottish parks have national park status, because they were so designated under Scottish law.

The Broads is a National Park...


The Courts (High Court and Court of Appeal) the Broads Authority’s decision to refer to the area as the Broads National Park.

Judges came to the view that the decision by the Broads Authority to use the term Broads National Park “could not be regarded as having any misleading effect as to the status of the Broads” (Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Simon November 2016).

The ruling of the Rt. Hon Lord Justice was not an endorsement of the rebranding decision, only a ruling on its effect. That hearing was to rule on the appeal against the decision of an earlier hearing.

In that earlier hearing, Mr Justice Holgate said, “In my judgment the branding decision taken by the Authority cannot be regarded as having any misleading effect as to the statutory functions of either the Broads or the Authority and no abuse of power has occurred.”

He didn’t pronounce a judgment on whether or not he supported that decision, either.

Key dates

1947 – Hobhouse report - identifies the Broads as 1 of 12 potential UK National Parks

1949 – The National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act - provides the framework for the creation of National Parks

From which the Broads were excluded, as they didn’t fit the criteria.

1950 – Committee reviews the designation of the Broads as a National Park. Although it satisfied the requirements, the maintenance of the Broads was considered too expensive so it was not included in the first round of designations in the 1950’s

I haven’t seen those committee reports, but, throughout discussions over the years, it was considered that the Broads did not fit the national park criteria.

Added date: 1958 - the Bowes Committee of Inquiry into Inland Waterways, accepted by the Government in 1959, recommended ‘reconstruction of the Port and Haven Commissioners on a more representative basis’, with a national park not ‘appropriate’ . This view was supported by The National Parks Commission.

Added date: 1961 After considerable consultation, the National Parks Committee concluded that a Broads National Park was neither necessary nor appropriate and a parliamentary announcement in Aug that year confirmed that the Broads would not become a national park.

1986 – Secretary of State announces a bill to “create a new statutory authority for the region that would have the same status as a National Park Authority and would assume responsibility for Navigation.”

1988 - Norfolk & Suffolk Broads Act - establishes the Broads Authority with similar powers to that of a National Park Authority and gave the Broads the same status as a national park.

During the passage of the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Bill through Parliament, the term “a status equivalent to that of a national park” was used a couple of times in debates. However, that expression did not find its way into the Bill itself, and the 1988 Act does not mention the status of the Broads at all.

I have a flock of chickens and one cockerel. I also have a flock of geese and one gander. The cockerel and the gander both have the same status, i.e. they lead their flocks. They both have the same function, i.e. to impregnate the females in their flock, so that fertile eggs are available for my breeding programme.

Can I now call the cockerel a gander, and the gander a cockerel?

Added date: 2006 – The Broads Authority sponsored a private Bill, The Broads National Park Authority Bill, two of the aims of which were to rename the Broads Authority as the ‘Broads National Park Authority, and the Broads as the ‘Broads National Park’.

Following intervention by the Defra Head of a National Parks Branch, who wrote to Dr Packman, saying among other things, “Allowing the use of the title “National Park” and “National Park Authority” – I’m afraid that we still cannot support this,” the Bill was substantially altered, and was passed as the Broads Authority Act 2009, with all references to ‘national park’ removed.

2015 – Broads Authority takes decision to use the term Broads National Park to promote the area
NO, the relevant resolution passed by the Broads Authority was “...that the brand “Broads National Park” be adopted for marketing related purposes with immediate effect..."

Marketing is an activity carried out by businesses, such as boat hire firms, accommodation providers, shops etc. It is not within the remit of the Broads Authority, who have the duty of “promoting opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the Broads by the public”, but not marketing the Broads.
2016 – High Court and Court of Appeal upholds the Broads Authority decision to use the term ‘Broads National Park’

The Courts were not asked to support the decision, or otherwise, nor did they do so. They gave  judgments in the case brought by the claimants, Mr and Mrs Harris.

What are the advantages of being able to promote the Broads as a National Park?

There are considerable benefits in using the term Broads National Park in a consistent manner to promote the area.

This is pure speculation. None of the Broads Authority’s marketing strategies have been very successful to date. There is no reason to suppose that this one will be any different.

The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads are a geographical location, easily identifiable internationally. While the Broads is the term used by those who are familiar with them, there is nothing in that word to suggest to those unfamiliar with the area where they are located. Equally so the Broads National Park.

What is the ‘Sandford Principle’ and what is the relevance to the Broads?

The 'Sandford Principle' does not apply to the Broads.

True, but it doesn't apply to any national parks, either. The Sandford Principle became redundant more than 20 years ago. It was replaced by the application of section 62 of the Environment Act 1995 to the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, which added section 11a to the latter. The wording of that section is significantly different from the wording of the Sandford Principle.

The Authority could apply to have section 11a applied to the Broads, without reneging on their commitment not to seek the application of Sandford.

The view of the Chief Executive of the Broads Authority has consistently been that the application of the 'Sandford Principle' would not be helpful in the complex role of managing the many different interests and pressures in the Broads.

That is a questionable statement. In 2006, with the current CEO in place, the Authority tried to present a private Bill to Parliament, with the intention of having the Broads Authority renamed the 'Broads National Park Authority' and the Broads the 'Broads National Park'. They were stopped by Defra (and others).

Is there any chance that promoting the area as the Broads National Park will lead to a legal change so that the Broads has exactly the same framework as the 12 English and Welsh National Parks?

This is a total red herring. To be able to implement Section 11a, it is not necessary to have exactly the same framework as national parks. It is only necessary for the Broads to be a legal national park. The Broads Authority would not have to become a national park authority.

The ‘Sandford’ part of section 11a is applicable to local authorities, as well as national park authorities, and, for a number of functions, the Broads Authority is regarded as a local authority. The rebranding was said to be undertaken by virtue of the powers granted by the Local Government Act 1972, which regards the BA, in many instances, as a local authority.

This message was edited by Paladine on Feb-18-18 @ 1:58 PM

Feb-18-2018 @ 1:04 PM                           Permalink
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Harnser Trainer
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Thanks for that Pally, fact not fiction, truth not spin.


if it is to be it is up to me.

Feb-18-2018 @ 6:12 PM                           Permalink
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On FaceBook, two ex-forumites, Strowager & JM, are discussing the lack of respect on this forum being shown towards Dr Packman. Got to agree but when I read the FAQ about the BNP then I am not surprised. Please, Dr Packman, stop treating us like idiots. Face up to it, we are not falling for the bull, the Broads is not a National Park, it's something more, it's unique, end of.

Jolly Rodger

Feb-19-2018 @ 6:45 AM                           Permalink
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Mardles sometimes
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Which Facebook Group are they using for the discussion?


Feb-19-2018 @ 8:24 AM                           Permalink
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Hi Nigel ,
It's the Fb page " protect the broads we are not a national park " and  " Norfolk broads news "

steve and vicky
( apparently a moaner)

Feb-19-2018 @ 10:00 AM                           Permalink
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Didn't notice they had left.....


Feb-19-2018 @ 10:37 AM                           Permalink
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Knows that Roys is in Hoveton
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Why is the CEO, and presumably the Chairman and possibly other members of the BA, so keen on The Broads being a National Park. Are there hidden perks for them or is it simply the perceived kudos of the title?
I am not aware that any tourists come to the area because of the label "National Park"  When I go on holiday to the Lake District and elsewhere it is becaue of the beauty of the landscape, not because it has any particular title.
If this has been discussed elsewhere can someone direct me please?
Thank you

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