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Housing and Economic Development Needs Assessment 2023

Housing and Economic Development Needs Assessment 2023

An assessment has been made on future needs for housing and employment land in the South Downs National Park.  The Authority has published its Housing & Economic Development Needs Assessment (HEDNA), which will provide evidence as part of the Local Plan Review.

The South Downs Local Plan reaches its fifth birthday next July and the Government requires Local Plans to be reviewed every five years.  A key element of the Review is updating the evidence for housing and other development needs and assessing the available sites to meet these needs.

The HEDNA has produced a housing need number of 350 homes a year across the National Park – equivalent to 6,300 homes between 2024 and 2042.  The assessment also includes the need for 13.2ha for industrial use and 5.9ha for offices.

HEDNA – Final Report  2023

Claire Tester, Planning Policy Manager for the National Park, said: “The HEDNA is an important piece of evidence that will help inform the Local Plan Review.

“It’s important to stress that these figures are just the starting point and not necessarily the same numbers that we will be planning for in the updated South Downs Local Plan. Our constraints as a National Park and other issues, such as flood risks, will need to be taken into account as part of this detailed and complex process.”

The draft Local Plan Review will go through two rounds of formal public consultation prior to independent examination – the first expected between January and March 2025.

Claire added: “It’s so important we keep the Local Plan up-to-date so we can make sure that we are meeting the needs of our communities, while also conserving and enhancing the special landscape qualities of the National Park.  Having an up-to-date Local Plan protects us from speculative developments that haven’t been through a Local or Neighbourhood Plan process.”




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