Final chance to have say on South Downs Local Plan – Consultation closes on 21 November

People have until 21 November to submit their comments on the first Local Plan for the South Downs National Park. The plan will replace more than a thousand policies from 12 different local authorities with just 96 new policies covering the whole of the National Park from Winchester to Eastbourne.

Margaret Paren, Chair of the South Downs National Park Authority, said:
“The South Downs Local Plan puts these nationally important landscapes first – they are the reason the South Downs became a National Park and they must sit at the heart of every planning decision we make. But our communities matter too, many of whom have undertaken their own Neighbourhood Plans. Some communities need to be able to grow, but this has to be in a way that respects the local environment and the wider National Park.

“The plan also sets out the high standards that all proposed development must meet to protect and value nature – both for its own sake and also for the vital services it gives us such as clean water, food and space to breathe.”

The National Park Authority are asking people to make their final comments from 26 September to 21 November and, while the consultation is mainly looking at the soundness of the plan, they will consider every comment that is made. Every comment will also be passed, exactly as submitted, to the Planning Inspectorate who will respond to them as part of their examination into the Local Plan.

The South Downs landscapes have always depended on people and development – in farms, market towns and villages – and today is no different. 112,000 people live in the National Park and these communities need access to affordable homes and places to work. Putting the landscapes first means making sure we get the right growth in the right places.

As with any local plan, the Local Plan for the National Park has gone through a number of drafts, each being tested along the way by research, evidence and public consultation. Within the Local Plan sit around 50 Neighbourhood Plans developed by South Downs communities which provide local development management policies and allocate land for development.

Find out more, read the South Downs Local Plan and submit your comments