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Evidence and Supporting Documents

We are gathering information and evidence which will form the basis for the planning policies within the National Park. The following are the pieces of work that are published or are underway. This webpage is being updated as work is completed and published. The studies are sorted by theme and relate directly to the chapters of the emerging South Downs Local Plan.

New documents added!

The following new documents have been added to this page. Please scroll down or use the link, where available, to find them.

June 2017

April 2017

Core Policies

Sustainable Development

Sustainability appraisals are used to assess Local Plans in order to avoid negative environmental and socio-economic effects and identify opportunities to improve environmental quality. The process of assessment is ongoing, to date the following reports have been published:

Major Development

National planning policy states that major development in locations such as the South Downs National Park should be refused except in exceptional circumstances. An assessment of sites identified in the Local Plan: Preferred Options against the meaning of ‘major development’ is set out in the following report:

Ecosystems Services

A GIS based tool (EcoServ GIS) has been developed to provide supporting evidence for the Local Plan. The GIS tool enables us to map and understand the delivery of Ecosystem Services with the National Park. A large number of maps have been produced and are included within this report:

A Thriving Living Landscape


The South Downs Integrated Landscape Character Assessment identifies and defines 18 general landscape types within the National Park as well as 49 more place-specific ‘character areas’. This work help us to understand the landscape character of the National Park. In addition the National Park has completed a piece of work called the Viewshed Analysis which takes 120 of the most widely known views and using computer modelling enables the impact of development to be considered.


The objective of the Habitats Regulations Assessment is to identify any aspects of the Local Plan that would cause an adverse effect on the most sensitive site of importance for wildlife (known as Natura 2000 sites). The process of assessment is ongoing, to date the following report has been published:

Cultural Heritage


The study assesses the water infrastructure required to support development and the potential environmental constraints.

People Connected to Places

Sustainable Transport

The Transport Study Phase 1 provides a comprehensive inventory of existing available data in relation to transport issues and an overview of the issues affecting the SDNP. The Local Plan Transport Assessment looks at the impact of the Local Plan’s proposed development in Petersfield, Liss, Midhurst and Petworth, and at the former Syngenta site, on traffic flows through key junctions in the National Park. Finally, the Roads in the South Downs provides a resource and reference point for emerging best practice in rural and urban highway design, drawing on experience gained in other UK National Parks.

Understanding and Enjoyment of the National Park

The Visitor Accommodation Review provides an assessment of the opportunities and requirements of the visitor accommodation sector across the South Downs National Park.  The Sustainable Tourism Strategy uses this and other information to produce a strategy for the National Park.

Towards a Sustainable Future

Development Strategy

The purpose of the Settlement Facilities Assessment is to assist in identifying the role and function of settlements within the National Park based on the number and type of facilities and services they provide.

Settlement Boundary Review 2015: Settlement boundaries are a planning tool used to direct development to the most sustainable locations whilst protecting the character of the countryside, villages and towns. The Settlement Boundary Review sets out the methodology used to undertake this review and the proposed changes to the boundaries of various communities across the National Park.


This section contains a number of important studies relating to the need for and delivery of homes in the National Park. They range from one of the earliest studies completed in 2011 looking at the issues surrounding housing provision to the most recent assessment of need for housing for different groups in the community (the SHMA) and the sites assessed in order to identify the best locations on which to build new homes (the SHLAA)

Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Accommodation Assessments (GTAA): Sudies have been undertaken across the National Park in order to assess the need for Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople sites:

Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Sites Studies: Studies of potential sites available for Gypsy and Traveller use have been undertaken in a number of parts of the National Park.

South Downs Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Background Paper: This paper looks at the level of need for Gypsy and Traveller sites in the National Park, how sites have been identified and how they been assessed.


The Employment Land Review considers the commercial property market, the need for employment land and floorspace, existing sites and future employment land allocations. The Retail studies look at the current levels of retail floorspace in the key town centres and future trends and requirements.


The Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) lists all infrastructure needed to support development in the National Park.

Green Infrastructure

The following study focusses on the accessible natural greenspace provision within and adjoining the National Park.

Access Network and Accessible Natural Green Space Study

Climate Change

The low carbon and renewable energy study contains information on how much energy is used throughout the National Park and what quantity of carbon dioxide is emitted in the process; how energy performance of existing houses and other buildings can be improved; what renewable and low carbon technologies are feasible and what criteria can be used to decide where renewable / low carbon generation may be appropriate.

Low Carbon and Renewable Energy Study

Adverts and Signs

To follow

Pollution and Contamination

To follow

Strategic Sites

To follow

Site Allocations

The Site Allocations Highway Assessment seeks to identify viable highway accesses to potential housing and Gypsy sites within the emerging South Downs Local Plan.

Implementation and Monitoring

The Annual Monitoring Report 2016 details the performance of existing and emerging policies across the National Park, and trends against various indicators.

Other Local Plan preparation related documents

A series of further documents which support the preparation of the Local Plan are listed below:

Duty to Cooperate – Interim Statement sets out the work done to date on working with relevant local planning authorities on providing a strategic tier of planning for the area.

The Local Development Scheme August 2017 (LDS) identified the types of documents which will be produced and the dates each is expected to be adopted.

The Progress from Issues and Options to Preferred Options – September 2015 report sets out the issues and options consulted on, the main issues raised and the justification for the preferred option selected.

The Statement of Community Involvement sets out how the SDNPA will involve interested parties in planning decisions and the preparation of planning policies.

The Partnership Management Plan: Shaping the future of your South Downs National Park has been a joint venture with many individuals, organisations and networks in, and, around the National Park. It provides the starting point for the development of the policies in the Local Plan.

This State of the South Downs National Park report sets out a picture of the National Park as it is today, providing a baseline against which future changes can be measured.


Copyright © 2017 South Downs National Park Authority