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Our compliments, comments and complaints process

Our compliments, comments and complaints process

If you are unsatisfied with any aspect of the service you have received, please follow the below guide so that we can deal with your complaint effectively. 

  • Stage One

    You may initially choose to contact us via telephone, email, fax, letter or in person. You can also ask a South Downs National Park Authority Member or someone else to contact us on your behalf.

    You can call the SDNPA on 01730 814810, or email us at info@southdowns.gov.uk (please include ‘Complaint’ in the subject line of your email) or write to:

    South Downs National Park Authority
    South Downs Centre
    North Street
    West Sussex
    GU29 9DH

    Many complaints are straight forward and can be dealt with ‘on the spot’ by the member of staff or directorate who provided you the service.

    We would hope to resolve the vast majority of complaints at this stage. If your complaint cannot be resolved straight away, we will let you know what we intend to do and when you can expect a response.

  • Stage Two

    We will try to resolve your complaint informally but if this is not possible (or you do not wish to do this) the next stage is more formal. 

    If possible, we ask you to make your complaint in writing on our Complaints, Comments and Compliments Form. You can request a printed copy of the form by post.

    This means that we have an accurate and complete record of the issue in your own words, and ensure there is no confusion or misunderstandings over the issue during the complaints process.

    If you do not wish to use our form, or are unable to do so (for instance, due to disability) please contact us directly to discuss how you would like to deal with us during this complaint.  

    We will try and accommodate any specific needs you have.

    Your complaint will be recorded and referred to the Director or senior officer of the relevant service for investigation, or, if the complaints involves the Chief Executive, to the Monitoring Officer or another person authorised by him/her.

  • Stage Three

    If you’ve gone through the formal complaints procedure described in stage two and you are not satisfied with the results of the investigation, you may ask for you complaint to be forwarded to the Chief Executive for review.

    If you’ve complaint involves the Chief Executive the complaint will be passed to the Monitoring Officer or another person authorised by him/her. You will receive a response within 20 working days of your request.

    All comments and complaints are treated in confidence and will not disadvantage you in any future dealings you might have with the SDNPA.

    However, it may not always be possible to keep your details confidential, such as where allegations are made concerning conduct of third parties, or where particular legislation applies to  your complaint.

    For full information about the steps we will take to try and resolve your complaint, please see the full Complaints, Compliments and Comment Policy.

What if I’m still not satisfied?

We hope your complaint will be resolved to your satisfaction.

If that is not the case, you may refer your complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman. 

For further details see our full Compliments, Comments and Complaints Policy, where you will find details of how to contact the Local Government Ombudsman, and how they can help you with your complaint.


"The Downs...too much for one pair of eyes, enough to float a whole population in happiness."