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Making a Planning Application

The best way to submit a planning application in the National Park is online through the Planning Portal website. Applications will be automatically forwarded to the correct authority. The site also lets you complete and print forms for paper based submission or download forms for manual completion and submission.

We are responsible for planning within the National Park and receive thousands of planning applications every year. To deal with these more efficiently the majority are dealt with on our behalf through unique partnerships with the Local Authorities operating within the National Park boundaries.

For seven of these we deal directly with all planning applications. The other seven authorities deal with the majority of applications on our behalf.

If you are unable to submit your application online please submit it directly to the Local Authority who will be dealing with your application.

Find out who will deal with your application.

Please be aware that if an application could have a significant impact on the National Park’s purposes and duty we will call it in for consideration by our own Planning Committee.

What Information Do I Need to provide?

We want to make informed decisions on planning applications and to do this we need to have the right information.

Planning in National Parks is different to other parts of the country. As well as mandatory national requirements we also have our own local requirements. This is because we also have to take into account the National Park purposes and duty so that we can safeguard the precious landscapes for which we were designated. We have created to help you carry out landscape and visual impact assessments as easily as possible, particularly for the many planning applications likely to have limited landscape implications.

To find out about requirements for submission of valid minerals and waste planning applications, please refer to the Minerals and Waste Local Validation List.

Application forms for mineral development (with the exception of oil and gas) are not available on the Planning Portal. Therefore please complete and submit the form below:

Minerals & Waste Application Form.

How Much Does It Cost?

The Planning Portal have published A Guide to the Fees for Planning Applications as well as a Fee Calculator.

Community Infrastructure Levy

Further information can be found on the Community Infrastructure Levy page.

How are applications decided?

The majority of planning applications in the National Park do not need to go to a full Planning Committee. In these cases the case officer will make a recommendation to the Head of Planning who will determine the application under delegated authority.

Officers can make delegated decisions in relation to any matter arising under the Planning Acts and on the determination of applications for certificates of proposed or existing lawful use and development. These will either be determined locally the relevant local authority acting on our behalf under agency agreement or by National Park Authority Officers.

Who will deal with my application?

Most applications are dealt with by Officers without referral to the Planning Committee.

If the application is for a development (including householder and other applications) which is  considered, by the Director of Planning, to have potential significant impact or could set an important precedent it will be referred to the Authority’s  Planning Committee for consideration.

In addition, major applications will be referred to the Planning Committee for consideration if they:

  •  Are contrary to the approved development plan or other planning policies but are recommended for approval.
  •  Are requested for referral to the committee by any Member of the Authority.
  • Are, in the opinion of the Director of Planning, to have generated significant and material third party representations which are contrary to the Officer’s recommendation.

All applications which have been submitted from Authority members or employees (or are submitted by or on behalf of the Authority for its own developments except for minor applications) will be referred to the Planning Committee for consideration.

How Long will it take?

After submitting your valid application you will receive an acknowledgement letter with the statutory timescales that apply for your case and the date by which it should be determined. These are generally:

Statutory applications

Statutory planning applications will normally be determined within eight weeks of receipt of your valid application.

If the application is for major development, the statutory time period is 13 weeks from the date of validation to allow additional time due to the complexities of such cases.

The statutory definition of major development is as follows:

  • For dwellings, a major development is one where the number of residential units to be constructed is 10 or more.
  • Where the number of residential units to be to be constructed is not given in the application, a site area of 0.5 hectares or more should be used as the definition of a major development.
  • For all other uses, a major development is one where the floor space to be built is 1,000 square metres or more, or where the site area is 1 hectare or more.

Applications that are subject to Environmental Impact Assessment are allowed a period of 16 weeks from the date of validation.

Sometimes matters may arise that prevent an application being determined by the statutory date. In these cases the planning officer will contact you before the deadline to request a formal extension.

Prior Notifications and Prior Approvals

Applications under these categories are normally processed within 28 days of receipt, but may be the subject of a request for a full application, in which case the timescales for statutory applications will apply.

How Do I Pay?

To pay for pre-application advice please see the pre-application pages.

To pay online

Make an online payment using a credit or debit card:

To make sure your payment is correctly identified and linked to your submission please use the following references:

  • If the fee relates to a previous application that has been declared invalid (no original fee or additional fee required) use the application reference; or
  • If the fee is for a new application use the first line of the site address.

To pay by telephone

We are currently unable to take payments by phone, we are working to resolve this and apologise for the inconvenience caused.

To pay by BACS Transfer

  • For Arun, Brighton & Hove, East Sussex, Eastbourne, Wealden, West Sussex and Hampshire please call 01730 814810 and ask for the Technical Support Team who will be happy to provide you with our account details;
  • To make a BACS payment within Adur, Chichester, East Hampshire, Horsham, Lewes, Mid-Sussex, Winchester or Worthing please contact the relevant planning service directly stating that you wish to pay a pre-application advice fee for a South Downs National Park Authority application.

To make sure your payment is correctly identified and linked to your submission please use the following references:

  • If the fee relates to a previous application that has been declared invalid (no original fee or additional fee required) use the application reference; or
  • If the fee is for a new application use the first line of the site address.

Paying By Cheque

  • Please attach your cheque to the completed form and make sure that the applicant’s name and site address is written on the back of the cheque.

Cheques should be made payable to the ‘South Downs National Park Authority’ and either included with your application or submitted directly to the SDNPA at: South Downs Centre, North Street, Midhurst, GU29 9DH.

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