Communicating the South Downs


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Planning Policy

The South Downs National Park became the organisation with the statutory responsibility of writing Planning Policy for the National Park Area on the 1st of April 2011.

Planning Policy plays an important role in shaping the future of development within the National Park.

Planning policy can affect development in a number of ways:

  • It can restrict certain types of development from being built in certain locations. (for example a planning policy could prevent new houses being built in an area with protected species, or an area liable to flooding)
  • It can shape development in certain locations. (for example a planning policy could only allow certain numbers of a particular type of business within a town centre, in order to prevent less profitable uses being squeezed out leading to particular goods and services being unavailable)
  • It can promote development in certain locations (for example by designating a plot of land within a settlement for business, or affordable housing designation, or any other use that is needed)
  • It can provide funding for community facilities (for example a policy could specify that anyone wanting to build a house in an area has to contribute a certain amount to a new village hall, or playing pitch or whatever else is most needed)

It is therefore important that the planning policy approach that is decided upon best reflects the needs of the people who live in South Downs National Park and those who visit it, by shaping development in a manner that conserves and enhances the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area.