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Gazing at Comet Neowise in Kingsdale. Credit Andy Ward

Local support for Dark Sky Reserve bid

Friday 9 October, 2020, by News Release

Local communities in the Yorkshire Dales National Park have given exceptionally strong backing to an application to make the National Park an International Dark Sky Reserve

A total of 71 Parish Councils and Parish Meetings in the National Park endorsed the National Park Authority’s bid, which was sent to the International Dark Sky Association late last month. 

These parishes represent 84% of the population of the National Park and 81% of its area.

Member Champion for Promoting Understanding at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Kevin Frea, said:  “The National Park Authority has never before seen such a high level of community support across the National Park for a project.  Local people know how blessed they are to have a night sky largely free from light pollution. It is also clear that people see the business opportunities that a dark sky creates, particularly during the autumn and winter seasons.  Increasing numbers of people are seeking out the Dales for star gazing as an accompaniment to superb food, drink and hospitality.

“I would like to thank sincerely all the local communities and businesses that have taken the time to offer their support and comments, together with the District and County Councils in the National Park.”

In a letter to the US-based International Dark Sky Association, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s Chief Executive David Butterworth said: “This application is the culmination of five years of engagement activity; it clearly demonstrates the high level of public support for the Dark Sky Reserve bid and also the extremely high quality of our night skies, with more than 100 locations having the standard of darkness required.

“We hope that the International Dark Sky Association will look on our application favourably and we look forward to joining the family of International Dark Sky Reserves.”

It is proposed that the International Dark Sky Reserve would be the whole National Park area, with the darkest ‘core’ comprising a large arc of land including the upper parts of Wensleydale (excluding Hawes), Swaledale, Mallerstang, Garsdale, Littondale and Wharfedale.  In total, the core area would amount to 658 km², 30% of the area of the National Park.

Achieving Dark Sky Reserve status by 2021 is one of the objectives set out in the Yorkshire Dales National Park Management Plan

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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News Release

Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority

Website: www.yorkshiredales.org.uk

4 Replies to “Local support for Dark Sky Reserve bid”

  1. alexandra weatherhead says:

    Why have the National Park Planning given permission for a huge hotel development at Linton? The light emissions will be seen for miles, especially from the cars and vans using the site. The hotel development is contiguous with an Ancient Monument and it makes a mockery of any “Dark Skies”. The paths and lights from a 3 storey hotel around the site with a swimming pool and facilities for weddings will ruin this beautiful dale for ever. Shame on you Yorkshire Dales National Park Planners.

    • Comms Team says:

      Dear Alexandra
      Please find below the response that we have put on to the other posts that you have left comments on. For your info, copied and pasted here also for reference.

      Thank you for your comments. There have been extensive discussions on how to mitigate any impact of the Linton Camp hotel development on the dark sky – and a number of measures brought forward. The buildings have been designed with roofs with a significant overhang to shade the windows and timber louvers would be incorporated into all high level and some low-level glazing to shade the windows from a distance. Glass would also be treated to reduce glare. The orientation of the buildings will also assist to reduce light emissions beyond the site boundary as the majority of the glazing will face into the site and the rising ground levels to the south. The applicant has stated that the external lighting scheme would be designed to be sensitive to the setting and surroundings whilst achieving the required operating standards and would be compliant with a Dark Sky Reserve status. A lighting assessment submitted with the application stated that the lighting scheme would be designed to be compliant with Environmental Zone E1 (Intrinsically dark areas such as National Parks and AONBs). However, there is still work to be done. A condition attached to the granting of planning permission will require the submission of the details of an external lighting scheme. Wendy (Communications team)

  2. alexandra weatherhead says:

    The Yorkshire Dales National Park does not deserve the Dark Skies designation. They have just this month given permission for a huge hotel development near Linton. All the local people are horrified as we are the long time residents who have protected the dark skies by not having street lighting in our villages. Think of the cars, buses, and vans and the vehicles of of hundreds of hotel and lodge residents and staff lighting up the night skies. The Planning Committee are to blame. Shame on you.

    • Comms Team says:

      Dear Alexandra. There have been extensive discussions on how to mitigate any impact of the Linton Camp hotel development on the dark sky – and a number of measures brought forward. The buildings have been designed with roofs with a significant overhang to shade the windows and timber louvers would be incorporated into all high level and some low-level glazing to shade the windows from a distance. Glass would also be treated to reduce glare. The orientation of the buildings will also assist to reduce light emissions beyond the site boundary as the majority of the glazing will face into the site and the rising ground levels to the south. The applicant has stated that the external lighting scheme would be designed to be sensitive to the setting and surroundings whilst achieving the required operating standards and would be compliant with a Dark Sky Reserve status. A lighting assessment submitted with the application stated that the lighting scheme would be designed to be compliant with Environmental Zone E1 (Intrinsically dark areas such as National Parks and AONBs). However, there is still work to be done. A condition attached to the granting of planning permission will require the submission of the details of an external lighting scheme. Wendy (Communications team)

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