The main issue that has been raised is the threat of more regulation - more constraints on what can be built, the colours of the doors, etc. More bureaucracy and interference generally. However this is not required by the legislation. It is up to us to decide what we want to propose in the way of additional rules and regulations, if we develop a fully-fledged proposal to put to the Scottish Government.
As we talk to Community Councils in the area of the proposed National Park, two main questions have been coming up again and again. The first is the flip-side of a positive effect from being inside a National Park - property prices generally are higher (18% on average, compared to comparable areas outside a National Park) and houses tend to sell quicker. But there is a lot of concern that younger people will not be able to stay in the area if property prices are out of their reach and there is insufficient affordable housing to compensate. However, it is always the case that affordable housing is in short supply in an area of high economic activity, and surely this is a preferrable problem to have than having young people leave because there are no jobs for them...? Too, National Parks usually have a policy which encourages and promotes the creation of affordable housing within the Park.
The second comes from farmers who worry about about an extra burden of regulation on top of the onerous load of regulation they already have. Yes, inevitably true.... but set this against the positive gains from being within a National Park: Increased property and land prices, a possible cash windfall from converting a crumbing barn into a house that is within a desirable area, the marketing opportunities of selling provenanced produce from within a National Park, the viability of a farm shop or a B&B due to the increase in passing traffic. The positive opportunities for a farm within a National Park should easily outweigh the increased regulatory burden - provided farmers actively engage in the creation of the National Park to ensure this is the case!
Please join this discussion. Put your comments/questions in below - but in particular we would like to know how you think a Borders National Park could benefit you, or might adversely affect you. All comments will be filtered for all the usual reasons and then published here within a few days with your name. We would like your comments by March 1st please if you want to influence the detailed proposal. After a more detailed proposal has been constructed, it will be published here and we will then ask for comments on this proposal.