Planning

Shortlisted for RTPI Awards for Planning ExcellenceThe South Downs National Park Authority is the statutory Planning Authority for the National Park area. It is the 8th largest in Britain in terms of planning applications received each year and also one of the largest in terms of the geographical area it covers.

The Role of the Authority

The role of the South Downs National Park as a Planning Authority is to control and influence the development of land and buildings within its boundaries. To do this effectively the SDNPA has to balance the statutory duties and purposes of the National Park, safeguarding the natural environment and existing built heritage, with the needs of individuals, the local population supporting rural communities and local businesses.

How are we doing?

We have commissioned BMG Research to carry out customer surveys about our planning work on our behalf this summer. Find out more

Partnership with Local Authorities

The SDNPA has agreed and implemented unique partnerships with the 15 Local Authorities operating within the Park boundaries, working alongside and overseeing applications to ensure that planning guidelines are adhered to.

Local Planning Authorities are responsible for the day to day processing and determination of the great majority of all planning applications (about 96%). The SDNPA will deal with applications for more significant development within the Park.

For more information please see Applying for Planning Permission.

Planning Policy

The South Downs National Park is now the Authority responsible for planning policy to find out more visit the Planning Policy section of this site.

Finding Out About Planning Applications

In all cases the fastest way to find out about planning applications is to use our online search function.

In some cases, for example with listed buildings, we are legally obliged to publicise applications in the press and you will find these advertised in the most relevant local newspaper.

In addition a weekly list of applications is sent out to all parish councils and Local Authorities across the National Park. In some cases local newspapers also choose to publish full lists of the relevant planning applications for their part of National Park, however it is each editor’s decision as to whether to provide this service or not.