fbpx Skip to main content

Senior Leadership Team

Senior Leadership Team

The Authority is led day-to-day by a Senior Management Team comprising of:

  • Tim Slaney – Chief Executive (Interim)

    Contact: tim.slaney@southdowns.gov.uk

    Tim Slaney is the Interim Chief Executive Officer for the South Downs National Park Authority. He joined the Authority in 2011 as the first Director of Planning.  He set up and led one of the country’s busiest planning teams adopting a unique partnership arrangement with other planning authorities.  Prior to that, he worked at the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead as Head of Planning and Regeneration. Tim has worked in a number of urban and rural district and unitary authorities in the southwest and south east, in technical and leadership roles. This has included leading and managing successful planning, transport and highways, building control and conservation functions.  He was also responsible for the regeneration of key towns, setting up ventures and delivering on projects with private sector investors.

    During his formative years, Tim was lucky enough to spend much of his childhood visiting Britain’s National Parks and it’s from these experiences that his deep love of place and landscape developed. While studying geography at university, he undertook rural farm-related work in Pembrokeshire National Park, in Wales. Today he is passionate about ensuring that young people and those from underrepresented communities have access to National Parks and all they have to offer.

    During his time at the Authority, Tim has overseen the creation of the award-winning, landscape-led South Downs Local Plan, a leading neighbourhood community planning programme that undertakes consultancy work, new affordable housing, more vital infrastructure for local communities and a groundbreaking Community Infrastructure Levy scheme in a National Park.

    Tim has taken a leading role on managing operations at Seven Sisters Country Park and as a member of the Senior Management Team has experience working across the SDNPA range of activities. He is particularly proud of the award given by the Royal Town Planning Institute for environmental excellence around planning as a whole, including teambuilding and culture. Tim has also led on the Authority’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion work and been a strong supporter of its work with partners and local communities in and around the National Park.

    Tim will be taking forward the National Park’s pioneering work around nature recovery, climate action and ensuring the South Downs continues to be a National Park for all.  He will also be progressing the work of the Trading Company and ensuring support for the South Downs Trust, as well as working with colleagues from across National Parks and National Landscapes to promote their importance and all they can offer at a national and regional level.

    Tim is responsible for the day-to-day leadership, culture and management of the Authority, ensuring the accountability and value for money of its programmes, for advising the Members on its policies and future direction and for implementing their strategic plans.

  • Mike Hughes – Director of Planning (Interim)

    Contact: mike.hughes@southdowns.gov.uk

    Mike Hughes is the Interim Director of Planning for the South Downs National Park Authority. He started work with the National Park Authority in 2017 and previously managed the Major Projects and Performance team. Prior to that, he has worked as a planner in both the private and public sectors, including time spent abroad.

    During his time at the Authority, Mike has led on multiple projects including major planning applications, major infrastructure projects, the SDNPA’s Sustainable Construction and Design Supplementary Planning Guidance, the SDNPA’s Design Awards and a number of performance initiatives.

    Mike leads and oversees the provision of the National Park Planning Service, including the development management service, policy making, major planning schemes and the Community Infrastructure Levy.

    The National Park is one of the largest planning authorities in the country (both in terms of geographic size and the number of applications dealt with) and SDNPA determines more planning applications than many London Boroughs. Mike is responsible for the National Park Authority’s “hosted” arrangements, whereby 85% of the 5,000+ planning applications a year are dealt with by a number of district councils.

    The Authority also provides support and leadership as appropriate to over 50 Neighbourhood combined and Community Plans, both within and beyond the National Park.

    Mike has a key corporate role representing the Authority on many matters including affordable housing provision, rural economic growth and tourism.

    Mike is an awful yet keen runner and lives with his young family in the South Downs.


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