The South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) today (Monday 7 November) welcomed the decision of Petersfield Town Council to develop a Neighbourhood Plan, as the next step in determining the town’s future as the one of the largest towns in the South Downs National Park.
The announcement comes at the same time as the publication of a report covering future development of the town. This report talks about the importance of enhancing the town’s ‘green spaces’ and ‘watercourses’, the areas of undeveloped land which reach into the town from the surrounding countryside, connecting it and its population with the wider National Park.
‘I am delighted that Petersfield Town Council has taken this step and they will have our full support in developing the Neighbourhood Plan,’ says Margaret Paren, Chair of the SDNPA. ‘It will be very important that they take on board the views of local residents’ and stakeholders’ to gain an understanding of what the communities aspirations are for the future of Petersfield. The Petersfield Neighbourhood Plan will draw upon the Petersfield Tomorrow exercise and the Town Design Statement, and carry out further engagement work to determine the location of any future development for the town.’
The SDNPA took on responsibility for spatial planning for Petersfield in April 2011.The National Park Authority and East Hampshire District Council, jointly commissioned David Lock Associates to begin the process of finding out the views of local people on the future for Petersfield. Following some initial consultation events the consultants have produced an options report. The report highlights the importance of conserving and enhancing the town’s historic town centre, the landscape setting and green areas. It also presents a number of hypothetical development options which were discussed at workshops held in the town.
‘We are committed to listening to local people and working closely with the South Downs National Park Authority and Petersfield Town Council in planning the future of the town,’ says Ken Moon, Chair of the EHDC Development Plans Panel. This is particularly important given the new planning context of the town, which is one of the largest town in the South Downs National Park.’
People in Petersfield will have a range of opportunities to express their views on how the town should develop. Not only will this include the development of the Neighbourhood Plan, but also the Draft East Hampshire and South Downs Joint Core Strategy, which covers all of East Hants District, and will be published for consultation in February.
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