Key plan for South Downs future – more proposals under consideration

April 15, 2015

On 15 April 2015 members of the SDNPA Planning Committee will consider the latest proposals for the creation of the Local Plan for the South Downs National Park. This includes how we foster the local economy, protect our tranquil areas and dark night skies, encourage better design and deliver much needed homes in the National Park.

The Local Plan for the National Park will set out for the first time how the National Park Authority will manage development in order to meet its responsibilities to conserve and enhance the landscapes while serving the needs of our communities and the local economy. Once approved by the Government it will contain the policies by which all development proposals in the National Park will be judged.

Tim Slaney, Director of Planning for the South Downs National Park Authority, said:

“National Parks aren’t suitable places for unrestricted growth, and the first priority is to conserve the landscape. But, with a vibrant local economy and house prices in the South Downs well above national and regional averages, we need to deliver housing to meet the needs of local people and keep our communities and rural economy thriving – now and in the future. This includes both affordable and market housing.

“The final Local Plan will set out the areas and where possible the likely figures for new houses in the National Park up to 2032 giving people certainty about the future of their towns and villages. There shouldn’t be many surprises as many of these figures have already been announced through the Joint Core Strategies we’ve developed in partnership with other local authorities.

“Our target is to keep at least 40 per cent of all new housing in the National Park affordable but our landscapes will always have the highest possible level of conservation and we will always put these landscapes first. People will be able to have their say on this as part of the consultation on the Draft Local Plan for the National Park in Autumn 2015.”

Key figures

The proposed housing figures are based on a landscape led approach. This includes several evidence-based studies such as the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA), Viewshed analysis, Tranquillity mapping and the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA). An overall requirement is set for the whole National Park and is based on existing planning permissions, sites allocated in the Local Plan and small unidentified sites. The draft housing figures are as follows:

  • To deliver approximately 1,800 affordable homes for the 18 years between 2014 and 2032; and from 2014 to 2032, approximately 4400 homes will be built including those already granted planning permission
  • To deliver approximately:
  • 700 in Petersfield (Hampshire)
  • 650 in Lewes (East Sussex) (including 390 dwellings on North Street Quarter) (these figures are subject to the outcome of the examination of the Lewes Joint Core Strategy)
  • 150 in Midhurst (West Sussex)
  • 150 in Petworth (West Sussex)
  • Additional allocations in villages across the National Park.

 Key dates for the Local Plan

Winter/ Spring/ Summer 2015

Evidence documents being prepared and published

A large number of evidence based documents support the Local Plan. These need to be robust and will be tested at the Examination in Public along with the Local Plan.

Draft policies are being drafted and considered through the Planning Committee.

Autumn 2015

Preferred Options version of the Local Plan published and available for comment.

This will be the first time that people can look at the various draft policies for the South Downs National Park, together as a collective that seek to manage development in the most effective way having regard to National Park designation.

Mid 2016

Published Version of Local Plan Draft Plan.

The Published Version of the Local Plan is put out for a further stage of public consultation and then submitted along with any further representations received at this stage. The Plan will then be subject to an independent Examination in Public with public hearings

Spring 2017 Adoption of the Local Plan (subject to the outcomes of the independent examination).