Priority: Community focus
– supporting and empowering local communities to help meet identified needs
One of the strong messages from the consultation was the importance of empowering and engaging with local communities. The other priorities have picked this up in relation to communities of interest, such as local history societies, wildlife groups, or recreational users. This priority is primarily focused on the local resident community, although local people will also be part of helping to deliver actions relating to other priorities. In particular, there is a clear connection with the Prosperous Dartmoor priority, as community actions also have economic development benefits, and similarly actions under Prosperous Dartmoor will also benefit local communities.
What are the issues and opportunities?
- Growth and development in surrounding areas impacting on the setting of the National Park.
- A wide gap between household incomes and house prices, leading to the need for affordable housing.
- A need to provide the right type of housing, meeting the needs of local communities, including older people, and flexible housing for home working.
- Sustaining and supporting local services and amenities.
- An ageing population and fewer young people living and working on Dartmoor.
- Fuel poverty and the high proportion of old housing stock with poor energy efficiency.
- Increased interest in renewable energy technologies, with potential impacts on the National Park’s special qualities.
- High reliance on the private car for transport, exacerbated by reductions in public transport within and to the National Park.
- Opportunities and threats arising from climate change for local communities and businesses, including extreme weather events, flood risk and implications for tourism and agriculture.
- Threats from inappropriate development in, and affecting, the National Park.
- Loss of tranquillity due to light pollution, increased traffic, large-scale events and active sports.
What are we trying to achieve?
In responding to these challenges, we have identified the following four key areas where action should be focused over the Plan period:
- resilient and empowered local communities;
- help meet identified needs for local affordable housing and other services;
- development which enables communities to thrive, whilst conserving and enhancing the National Park;
- low carbon communities.
The key areas can be seen in detail by selecting the read more button below.