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Business Plan 2020-2022

Coastal view towards Robin Hood's Bay by Ebor ImagesCoastal view towards Robin Hood's Bay by Ebor Images

Purpose of this Business Plan

Our Business Plan sets out the specific objectives that the National Park Authority will work towards over the next 15 months. Its objectives are drawn from our current Management Plan, supported by additional objectives that aim to ensure an excellent level of customer service and an effective organisation. It will keep us focused through a year when we’ll also be looking ahead with the development of a new Authority strategy and Management Plan for the National Park.

Our Work and Covid-19

As this Plan is produced, we are adapting to the impacts that Covid-19 is having on both the National Park and the work of the National Park Authority. It’s likely that further adjustments may need to be made throughout the period of the Plan and we’ll be monitoring developments closely.

Objectives and Targets for January 2021 to March 2022.

A new National Park Management Plan.

We have one organisation wide objective that will be a priority for the months ahead – set out below.

Objective

Target – by March 2022

Prepare a new National Park Plan with input from all stakeholders to provide a long term Vision and aims for the North York Moors National Park

National Park Plan published for adoption on April 1 2022

1. Environment – key objectives and targets

We have one organisation wide objective that will be a priority for the months ahead – set out below.

Objective

Target – by March 2022

E1. Establish and strengthen effective wildlife corridors in the National Park with support from externally funded projects

Ryevitalise and River Esk projects (including WEG, CaBa and Blue Corridors) projects delivered on time and to budget

E2. Deliver the objectives and key projects for s106 Landscape and Ecology contributions associated with the Woodsmith Mine (see detail  at the end of this section)

Specific targets all met

E3. Play a lead role in the development, delivery and coordination of Local Nature Recovery Strategies in and around the National Park

Landscape scale project delivery and learning contributing to ‘proof of concept’ for Nature Recovery Strategies (see also E1)

E4. Support one collaboratively developed pilot scheme for landscape scale management

1  collaboratively developed pilot scheme scoped in preparation for delivery

E5. Implement the Levisham Estate Management Plan and apply for Countryside Stewardship  on NPA registered land

Countryside stewardship scheme agreed

E6. Restore 62 ha of PAWs and complete a review of current PAWs status

62 ha of PAWs restoration initiated by March 2022

E7. Complete the Exploited Land of Iron (TEL) project evaluation and implement the project legacy plan

Evaluation completed. Legacy plan in place.

E8. Improve water quality and river habitats on the River Rye and River Esk supported by Ryevitalise and the Water Environment grant

See E1

E9. Improve the conservation and awareness of the historic environment and cultural heritage of the National Park

Number of Scheduled Ancient Monuments on Heritage at Risk register below 5% of total

E10. Create new areas of woodland and wood pasture (see also section 106)

5 Ha’s outside of s106 planting

E11. Monitor and protect grasslands under agreement and develop a Legacy Plan for the Turtle Dove project

93 Ha’s of grassland under agreement

E12. Support farmers, wildlife and landscape in the National Park to adapt to emerging policy changes including ELMs

Ongoing

E13. Maintain landscape character and quality and conserve the distinctiveness of landscape character areas.

Landscape Character Assessment updated

E14. Ensure that all data and records are well managed and readily available to inform the Authority's and partners work and complete appropriate survey and monitoring

Farmland wader and Habitat baseline survey completed

Historic Environment Record structure updated

E15. Deliver the Historic Environment grant scheme

Total grant scheme budget committed

E16. Protect and enhance landscape, archaeology and biodiversity through the planning system and manage statutory protection functions through advice and regulation

Ongoing

We are also committed to delivering a number of Landscape and Ecology contributions under the Woodsmith Mine 106 agreement – these are summarised below.

Section 106 landscape and ecology categories key projects and objectives for 2021/22

Traditional boundary restoration
  • Adder Wall (phase 2) with North York Moors Railway
  • Dry Stone Walls along A171 corridor with Mulgrave Estate
  • Kettleness Hedgerow restoration scheme with Mulgrave Estate
Woodland and forestry enhancement
  • NYMNP - Landscape Tree Scheme (confirmed)
  • Bumble Wood (confirmed) with Forestry England
  • Deliver 73 ha of woodland creation
  • NYMNP – Ryevitalise PAWS
Management, creation and enhancement of natural environment
  • NYMNP – Ryevitalise
  • NYMNP – Blue Corridors
  • Pond Creation with Mulgrave Estate
  • Newtondale Conservation Management Plan scoping with Forestry England
  • Bransdale Conservation Management Plan delivery with National Trust

Beaver monitoring with Forestry England

Restoration of degraded heritage assets
  • Support for Rosedale Stone Kilns Project
Enhancement of Public Rights of Way
  • Various additional Rights of Way internal projects including……..
  • Whitby to Staithes Cycle Link post feasibility – with Mulgrave Estate/SBC
  • Support for North York Moors Cycleway signage Tourism project (with RDC, SBC, HDC)
Dark skies tranquillity enhancements
  • Continued annual contributions for Tranquillity enhancements through the Lighting Improvement Scheme.

2. Understanding and enjoyment - key objectives and targets

Objective

Target – by March 2022

U1.Inspire more young people to understand and experience the North York Moors and be actively involved in its future

12000 contacts via the Education Service each year

Customer satisfaction with the Education Service 95% or above,

800 school contacts supported through the targeted transport scheme,

1000 Volunteer days P/A by young people

U2. Manage maintain and improve public rights of way and other priority access routes in the National Park

85% of promoted and priority  public rights of way easy to use

70% of all other  public rights of way easy to use

U3.Improve the accessibility to landscapes of the National Park

Cleveland Way is stile free

2 easy access paths upgraded

U4. Provide high quality facilities for people visiting the National Park

Number of public toilets available in the NP maintained and improvement plan implemented

U5. Assist local communities in providing key visitor facilities.

13 village caretakers maintained

7 community managed public toilets maintained

U6. Work to minimise conflicts between different user groups

‘Share with care’ messages for rights of way users rolled out

U7.Develop and promote opportunities to improve public health and well-being through the National Park, including among target and underserved communities.

1,000 contacts from underserved communities within target areas engaged with the NP

YHA Green generation project delivered

Year 2 of Young Explorer project delivered

U8. Maintain, review and improve website effectiveness as a key communication tool (in line with Communications Strategy)

New website developed by March 2022

U9. Continue to provide, develop and improve excellent National Park Centres.

Medium Term Financial Strategy income targets at National Park Centres met

U10. Deliver Engagement and interpretation elements of Ryevitalise project

All relevant Ryevitalise project targets met

3. Business/land management - key objectives and targets

Objective

Target – by March 2022

B1. Proactively support the agriculture sector to adapt to changing economic circumstances and contribute to new policy development.

Also see E12

ELMs Test and Trial completed and further work developed where appropriate

B2. Coordinate the application for 65 ‘Kickstart’ work placements on behalf of the UK NPAs and adopt the new Level 4 Ranger apprenticeship qualification

New qualification adopted September 2021

B3. Increase the profile of the North York Moors and provide support to tourism businesses in post-covid recovery via the North York Moors Tourism Network

At least current levels of visitor awareness maintained

4. Communities – key objectives and targets

Target – by March 2022

Objective

C1. Deliver a customer focused Development Management service that supports economic and community development whilst helping to protect and enhance the special qualities of the National Park.

80% of planning applications determined within 8 weeks.

At least 80% of applicants satisfied with the service.

Appeals record recovered to  67% dismissal rate

C2. Undertake briefing and training events for Parish Councils and agents arising from any legislative changes to the planning system to support consistency in our level of service

Training events delivered

C3. Adopt the Joint Minerals and Waste Local Plan, with a robust planning framework in place to assess minerals development proposals, in or affecting the setting of the National Park.

New Joint Plan adopted by  April 2021

C4. Provide a high quality service for monitoring implementation of the Woodsmith Mine planning approval and the processing of proposals for modifications to the permission and approval of operational details, in line with local and national planning policies and agreed service standards

S106 funded work successfully implemented. Construction programme for mine and MTS minimises adverse impacts on the National Park and its communities

C5. Determine the ICL Boulby Major planning application in line with local and national planning policies

Application determined by April 2021

C5. Complete a Volunteer satisfaction survey and use the results as a baseline to inform the future volunteering programme Completed by July 2021

C6. Develop a new volunteering strategy setting out targets for outputs, volunteering days, methods of engagement and target audiences

Strategy completed by September 2021, for delivery from April 2022

C7. Work jointly through NPE to ensure changes to the Authority’s planning role arising from the Planning White Paper and the Glover Review safeguard national protection for National Parks.

Ongoing

C8. Safeguard the Authority’s strategic planning role in any sub regional changes arising from Devolution and the creation of a Mayoral Combined Authority

Ongoing

5. Corporate – key objectives and targets

Objective

Target – by March 2022

CR1. Devise a system to measure carbon emissions as a result of the Authority’s operational activities (by 1 April);  and develop a timed and costed plan to reduce operational carbon emissions to zero

Plan approved by members at June NPA

CR2. Continue to provide an excellent standard of People Management support through the development of a future working methods strategy –adapted to the behavioural and cultural changes needed for a changed working environment

7% staff turnover, a maximum of 4 days/year sickness absence.

CR3. Develop a new complaints process, using the latest (October 2020) LGO guidance as a basis and review c-19 changes to internal process to ensure no diminution of customer service

Approved by NPA by 31 March 2021

CR4. Complete a review of remote access of the IT network and phone system to ensure that all necessary data is available to facilitate effective home working and ensure data storage and usage by home workers is fully compliant with NPA standards

Key systems available 99% of working time to both remote and office workers.

CR5. Undertake a review of post c-19 working practices, with particular reference to home office arrangements; establish what improvements need to be made and produce a timed/costed action plan to deliver these

Action plan in place by 1 April 2021

CR6. Ensure the Authority has timely access to high quality financial data to facilitate effective decision making at all levels.

Ongoing

CR7. Support the securing of £1.5m of external funding annually across the Authority.

Achievement of £1.5 million target annually

CR8. Complete a review of communications with Members taking into account the changes implemented as a result of C-19

Work completed and implemented by 30 September 2021

CR9. Ensure that the costs of Corporate Services remain at 5% or less of the Authority’s gross costs and determine a new contract for the NPA’s legal services

Costs at 5% or less

New contract let by 31st December 2021

CR10. Undertake a Property Review assessing current portfolio and future needs

By 31 March 2021, terms of reference for review established and timescale for actions.