The Pre-Submission version of the South Downs Local Plan opens for public consultation from 26 September to 21 November 2017. This will be the last opportunity for the public to comment before we submit it to the Planning Inspectorate in spring 2018.
The South Downs Local Plan will, on adoption, replace more than a thousand existing local plan policies currently operating in different parts of the National Park with one set of 96 consistent policies.
We are asking people to give their final comments this autumn and while we are mainly looking at the soundness of the plan we will also listen to comments on all other aspects of the plan. Every comment will be passed to the Planning Inspectorate who will respond to them as part of their examination into the Local Plan.
This is a landscape-led plan, based on the statutory purposes and duty for National Parks as specified in the Environment Act 1995. These nationally important landscapes are the reason the South Downs were designated a National Park and must sit at the heart of every planning decision we make. For this reason the first fifteen strategic and development management policies focus on landscapes and will have to be borne in mind when considering all other policies.
The plan sets out to protect and enhance ecosystem services – the benefits and services provided to us by the natural environment. It also sets out the National Park Authority’s duty to local communities in allocating sites for housing and commercial development. Because our Local Plan is landscape-led these allocations are based on the landscape’s capacity rather than driven by targets.
The production of the South Downs Local Plan has drawn heavily on the South Downs Partnership Management Plan. It also draws on:
- Joint Core Strategies already adopted for Winchester, East Hampshire, Lewes and Wealden;
- responses to previous public consultations – considering Options in 2014 and Preferred Options in 2015;
- wide-ranging research;
- consultation with partner organisations;
- national policy and guidance.Once the Pre-Submission consultation is over, the plan, together with all responses received to the consultation, will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate. It is likely that public hearing will be held in June/July and we hope to adopt the plan in September 2018.
Alongside high-level strategic policies the South Downs Local Plan also includes more detailed policies for development management and the allocation of sites for development outside neighbourhood planning areas. Minerals and Waste plans and Neighbourhood Development Plans will form part of the development plan for the National Park alongside the South Downs Local Plan.
You will be able to read the local plan online at www.southdowns.gov.uk/localplan
Electronic copies will be sent to all town and parish councils in the National Park.
Paper copies of the plan, supporting documents and maps will be available at the following locations. Please check our website for opening times.
- Winchester Discovery Centre, Jewry Street, Winchester, SO23 8SB
- Lewes District Council offices, Southover House, Southover Road, Lewes BN7 1AB
- Petersfield Town Council offices, Heath Rd, Petersfield GU31 4EA
- Storrington library Ryecroft Lane, Storrington , RH20 4PA
- Chichester library, Tower Street, Chichester, PO19 1QJ
- Jubilee library (Brighton), Jubilee St, Brighton BN1 1GE
- South Downs Centre, North Street, Midhurst GU29 9DH