National park residents say what they think about the Peak District

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The sense of peace and tranquillity in the Peak District is more important to residents now than in 2009.

In a survey of residents organised by the Peak District National Park Authority, 71 per cent said that peace and tranquillity helps make the national park a special place, ranking it third, behind the landscape (top answer, 98 per cent) and distinctive villages (ranked second, 83 per cent).

This compares to 48 per cent in 2009, when peace and tranquillity ranked sixth. The ranking of landscape (top answer, 95 per cent in 2009) and distinctive villages (second, 68 per cent in 2009) remain the same.

It follows an evaluation of the results of a residents’ survey carried out in October last year among 4,700 randomly selected households.

Key areas of interest are:

Most residents regard tourism as beneficial to the area.

More residents are satisfied with the planning process than before.

Peak District National Park residents are keen volunteers, 62 per cent – much higher than the national average of 23 per cent.

Jim Dixon, chief executive of the Peak District National Park Authority, said: “This research provides strong evidence of popular support for our conservation priorities and our role in diversifying and enhancing the natural landscape.

“The results give us some clear messages about areas where residents are happy with services and things they would like us to do more of. We will use the information they have given as we develop our future plans. This will make us better at listening and responding to the issues that matter to them.

“We are always keen to hear views about improving ways of working with local people and I would like to thank the residents who responded to our survey.”

The Authority is continually working to improve how it communicates the planning process and its decisions. Improvements have been made to the planning pages on the website, a form has been introduced to encourage people to provide accurate information for pre-application advice and officers have attended community meetings to explain the planning process and local decisions.