National Park publishes latest version of its Local Plan for consultation

Posted on Fri, 29/09/2017 - 9:26am

The pre-submission version of the South Downs Local Plan contains one set of 96 policies, replacing more than a thousand existing local plan policies currently operating in different parts of the National Park.


This will be the first ever plan to cover England’s newest National Park, the South Downs, in its entirety.

The plan aims to set a framework for good planning, with an emphasis on the landscape, caring for views and night skies, supporting the local economy, promoting recreation, enabling affordable local housing, and making sure that green spaces are properly valued and cared for.


The National Park Authority explains that “This is a landscape-led plan, based on the statutory purposes and duty for National Parks as specified in the Environment Act 1995. These nationally important landscapes are the reason the South Downs were designated a National Park and must sit at the heart of every planning decision we make.


“For this reason the first fifteen strategic and development management policies focus on landscapes and will have to be borne in mind when considering all other policies.


“The plan sets out to protect and enhance ecosystem services – the benefits and services provided to us by the natural environment. It also sets out the National Park Authority’s duty to local communities in allocating sites for housing and commercial development. Because our Local Plan is landscape-led these allocations are based on the landscape’s capacity rather than driven by targets.”


Once this stage of the plan preparation is over, the plan, together with all responses received, will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate. It is likely that a public hearing will be held in June/July and it is hoped that the plan will be adopted in September 2018.


Comments received during the consultation (which runs from September to 21 November 2017) will be dealt with by a Planning Inspector in the Examination process.


The Inspector will mainly be looking at the ‘soundness’ of the plan (how it conforms to Government policies etc) but comments can be made on other aspects of the plan.


The local plan can be read online at and paper copies will be available at the following locations. Please check websites for opening times.

  • Winchester Discovery Centre,
    Jewry Street, Winchester, SO23 8SB
  • Lewes District Council offices, Southover House,
    Southover Road, LewesBN7 1AB
  • Petersfield Town Council offices,
    Heath Rd, Petersfield,GU31 4EA
  • Storrington library
    Ryecroft Lane, Storrington, RH20 4PA
  • Chichester library,
    Tower Street, Chichester, PO19 1QJ
  • Jubilee library (Brighton), Jubilee St, Brighton BN1 1GE
  • South Downs Centre, North Street, Midhurst, GU29 9DH