Parks are turning into ‘retirement zones’

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MORE needs to be done to encourage more working-age families to settle in towns and villages within the South Downs National Park and the New Forest.

The Country Land and Business Association says 2011 census statistics show the areas are at risk of becoming ‘permanent retirement and dormitory zones’.

CLA South East surveyor Tim Broomhead said: ‘The statistics regarding the other national parks within the UK show that retaining young families living and working in what are often remote rural communities is a real challenge.

‘Retirement villages will not generate the economic activity essential to the maintenance and management of the countryside - future planning policies in national parks must recognise the need for affordable housing, for jobs and accessible services.’

The CLA says it is working closely with the South Downs National Park Authority on the issue.