Search

Broads National Park – a tourism boost or a pointless rebrand?

PUBLISHED: 09:10 22 January 2015 | UPDATED: 09:31 22 January 2015

Members at the Broads Authority will vote on a rebrand to Broads National Park tomorrow. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Members at the Broads Authority will vote on a rebrand to Broads National Park tomorrow. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2014

It is an issue which divides businesses, boat owners and politicians – should Norfolk and Suffolk Broads be called the Broads National Park?

Q+A with the Broads Authority over Broads rebrand

The chief executive of the Broads Authority, John Packman, has long held ambitions to rebrand the area in a bid to lure more visitors.

Members of the Broads Authority will make the decision tomorrow morning – a change which could take hold with immediate effect.

Yet if members do agree, it would remain a marketing exercise alone.

The government, despite objecting to the switch on legal grounds in 2008 and 2009, have now climbed down leaving the decision with the authority and its stakeholders.

Defra minister Lord de Mauley emphasised while the area is a member of the national park family, which includes the Lake District, the Peak District and the New Forest, he said “it is not legally a national park”.

The authority itself have said both its name and functions would remain the same and access to the water would not change.

But still there is suspicion, especially in the navigation community, about the plans.

If they approve the recommendation to adopt the term, members will also decide whether to resolve not to pursue the ambition in the Broads Plan for the area to become a national park in law.

Some worry if the name is ever enshrined in law, and the authority is therefore forced to adopt the Sandford Principle which says conservation is the priority, then navigation issues will be left vulnerable.

The Broads’ constitution states that equal weight must be given to the three interests of conservation, recreation and navigation.

Richard Card, chairman of the Norfolk and Suffolk Boating Association, said the organisation strongly opposes the status change.

He said: “The initial impression is that there would appear to be little advantage for private boaters in adopting the term Broads National Park.”

And the navigation committee said they “continue to have reservations about the legality and reputational implications” of adopting the Broads National Park name.

Some question how an authority could call themselves something they are not while others have revealed fears that even if there is no prospect of a legal challenge now, there may be one in the future.

The idea of change has, however, received wide support from district, city and county councils as well as organisations such as the Norfolk and Suffolk Wildlife Trusts.

About 79pc of these groups questioned supported the change, while results in the stakeholders survey showed groups such as private boat owners were less in favour of the switch.

The meeting is at the Broads Authority’s office on Thorpe Road at 10am.

Do you have a Broads story? Email the Broads reporter on rosa.mcmahon@archant.co.uk

Other news

Yesterday, 19:20

Hospital chiefs have launched an investigation after a piece of a screw was left inside the toe of a patient at a hospital in Gorleston.

Yesterday, 16:26

A Lowestoft man joined 5,000 others for a charity cycle from Manchester to Blackpool to raise money for The Christie cancer treatment centre in Manchester.

Yesterday, 14:38

The managing director of a holiday park where a seven-year-old girl drowned has criticised the level of supervision by parents watching the pool.

Yesterday, 19:17

A coroner has expressed concern that holiday park staff are still yet to undergo health and safety training more than 12 months after a seven-year-old drowned there.

Most Read

Yesterday, 08:31

A woman was taken to hospital following a two-car crash in Lowestoft last night.

Read more
Suffolk police
Yesterday, 09:43

A council has said it is faced with a “difficult situation” as a paralysed man who was evicted from hospital is refusing its support.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:17

A luxury cruise ship has stopped off in Southwold as part of its voyage around the UK.

Read more
United Kingdom
Yesterday, 19:20

Hospital chiefs have launched an investigation after a piece of a screw was left inside the toe of a patient at a hospital in Gorleston.

Read more
James Paget University Hospital
Wed, 13:39

Witnesses are being sought after a blue Jaguar car came off the A12, near Southwold, and collided with a tree.

Read more
Suffolk Police

Later in Life

cover

Click here to view
the Later in Life
supplement

View

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 13°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Lowestoft Journal
e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter