People living in or interested in development in the South Downs now have the chance to see and comment on plans to address the major planning issues facing the area over the next 15 years.
From last Friday the National Park Authority began consulting on options for its official Local Plan.
At the same time people will be able to comment on suggested levels of contribution that developers should pay in the form of Community Infrastructure Levy to meet needs for new infrastructure caused by their developments. This will be the first CIL to be considered for any national park in the UK.
The two documents – the Local Plan Options Consultation Document and the Preliminary Draft Community Infrastructure Levy Charging Schedule – will be key to determining the future of development in the National Park.
They mark the first time the National Park Authority will set out its own approach to planning for the South Downs National Park.
Trevor Beattie, the CEO for the South Downs National Park Authority, said, “This is an important milestone for the South Downs National Park. When the Local Plan is adopted in 2017 we will have a dedicated planning strategy that safeguards the future of our precious landscapes which have rightly been recognised for their national importance.
“With a population of more than 112,000 people, I am confident that many residents, businesses and visitors will be interested in helping to secure the future of the National Park.”
When adopted the National Park Local Plan will replace the planning policies of the individual districts developed prior to the National Park’s designation and those joint plans created since in partnership between the SDNPA and neighbouring authorities.
Both the Local Plan Options and Preliminary Draft CIL Charging Schedule are available to read and comment on until April 30 2014 at www.southdowns.gov.uk/localplan.
The South Downs National Park is England’s newest national park, having become fully operational on April 1 2011. The park covers an area of 1,627 square kilometres, stretches for 140 kilometres from Winchester in the west to Eastbourne in the east.