FORMER Sheffield chief planner Narendra Bajaria steps down today (Thursday) as the chair of the Peak District National Park Authority.
After three years in the post, he gives way to former MP Tony Favell.
Mr Bajaria, who lives in Sheffield, was appointed a member of the authority 10 years ago by the Secretary of State and has been its chair for three. He was awarded a CBE in 2009 for services to the national park and rural and urban planning.
He said: “During my time the authority has faced key challenges on a number of issues, such as the need to deliver more affordable housing for local people, unlawful minerals quarrying at Backdale, the proposal for an A628 bypass and the need to carry out moorland restoration to help tackle the impact of climate change.
“In dealing with all these issues the huge challenge has been to meet the needs and expectations of local people, while also recognising that the Peak District is an asset for the whole nation.”
To mark his retirement, Mr Bajaria was presented with a picture of Stanage Edge, the place that first inspired his passion for the Peak District National Park more than 40 years ago.
The chair of Britain’s oldest national park is passing to Tony Favell, who lives in Edale and is a member of the High Peak Borough Council. He will hold the post until at least the Peak Park’s annual meeting in July.
Mr Favell, who was Conservative MP for Stockport from 1983 until 1992, takes over at a time as the national park faces budget cuts of 28.5% over the next four years.