Updated Draft Development Briefs for Consultation

The South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) has produced draft Development Briefs for four sites proposed to be allocated for housing in the South Downs Local Plan. The draft Development Briefs are now subject to consultation with local communities and landowners until the 26th April. We welcome your comments and feedback. The draft Development Briefs can be accessed here:

Coldwaltham draft Development Brief – comments should be sent to: coldwalthambrief@southdowns.gov.uk

Depot and Brickworks draft Development Brief – comments should be sent to: depotbrief@southdowns.gov.uk

Holmbush draft Development Brief – comments should be sent to: holmbushbrief@southdowns.gov.uk

Pulens Lane, Sheet draft Development Brief – comments should be sent to: pulenslanebrief@southdowns.gov.uk

The draft Development Briefs set out the principles that any visions, designs or plans for these sites must follow – for example any specific provisions for wildlife, recreation, services or access. The briefs are not prescriptive plans or designs for the sites – those will be the responsibility of future developers in consultation with the local community – but they will give the local community and other stakeholders more security and confidence as to what development on each site might look like.

As with any site in the National Park, developers will still need to apply to the SDNPA for planning permission but, provided the principles have been followed, this process should be faster.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is a Development Brief?

Development Briefs are an established method for local planning authorities to proactively influence how individual sites are developed – they are usually used for significant sites. Once endorsed they become an important consideration in the determination of any future planning applications for the site.

Why is the Authority introducing Development Briefs?

By setting out in advance what we expect to see if these four sites are developed, we can help to shape development proposals from the very early stages of design; give the local community and other stakeholders more security on what development might be permitted on the site; and speed up decisions on applications. The timing in producing these Briefs is key – if we are too late we lose some ability to influence as developers may already have commenced design work. 

Which sites have you produced Development Briefs for?

We have produced Development Briefs for four sites in the National Park.

  • Land South of London Road, Coldwaltham allocated under emerging Policy SD64.
  • West Sussex County Council Depot and Former Brickworks Site, Midhurst allocated under emerging Policy SD81.
  • Holmbush Caravan Park, Midhurst allocated under emerging Policy SD82.
  • Land at Pulens Lane, Sheet allocated under emerging Policy SD89.

The specific policies can be read in full in chapter 9 of the draft Local Plan.

Is there a chance that these sites won’t be included in the final Local Plan? If so why have you produced the plans now?

Yes, absolutely. The allocation of these sites for development will be considered by the wider public examination into the draft South Downs Local Plan conducted by the Planning Inspectorate, most likely in the Summer. However the window for producing a Development Brief is very small – to work it must be in place and adopted before prospective developers have started any plans for a site. For this reason we considered it worthwhile to carry out this work 

Why is the SDNPA only developing briefs for these four sites?

The need for Development Briefs for these sites was identified in the draft Local Plan as they are of a scale and/or importance that warrants a Development Brief being prepared and as they are not covered by any guidance in a Neighbourhood Plan. 

What information do these Development Briefs contain?

Each brief includes an analysis of that site’s particular constraints and opportunities, the relevant policies from the draft Local Plan and sets out, with detailed evidence, the key design principles and guidelines that should be observed in any development on the site – for example whether specific provision for wildlife, recreation, services or access needs to be made. 

Will other sites get Development Briefs over time?

These are the only Development Briefs proposed in the draft Local Plan and we have no current plans to produce Development Briefs for other sites. 

What happens after the public consultation?

All of the comments received during the consultation will be considered and changes will be made to the Development Briefs as necessary. If relatively minor changes are required as a result of the consultation these changes will be made and the final Development Briefs will be published and will be an important consideration in the determination of any future planning applications. If major changes are required as a result of the consultation a report and presentation will be made to Planning Committee. If the site allocation in the draft Local Plan does not subsequently come forward the Development Brief will be discarded.