Authority submits response to Planning White Paper



Authority submits response to Planning White Paper

The South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) has submitted its response to the Government’s consultation on its Planning White Paper: “Planning for the Future”.

The White Paper sets out a number of proposed changes to the current national planning system and the SDNPA has made detailed comments on nine key matters: 

  •       Clarification on the Status of National Parks
  •       Local Plans and Zoning
  •       Neighbourhood Development Plans
  •       Environmental Protection
  •       Climate Change
  •       Design and Beauty
  •       Development Management
  •       Infrastructure Levy
  •       Public Engagement.

The response was approved by Members at a meeting of the National Park Authority on 15 October.

Ian Phillips, Chair of the South Downs National Park Authority, said: “The past six months has shown that National Parks and protected landscapes are needed now more than ever, not just by the communities who are lucky enough to live in and around them, but by the whole nation.

“The Dower Report of 1945 understood that ‘If the National Parks are to carry out their task to public and Parliamentary satisfaction, they must have a direct and first-instance concern in the whole range of planning operations, including not least the case-by-case administration of planning control.’ This key point is as relevant now as it was when National Parks were being created – understanding that planning is not just about buildings, it’s also about connecting people to place. It guides not just where and how we live, but also provides a clear means by which we both connect people to their protected landscapes and conserve those protected landscapes for this and future generations. 

“Last year’s Defra Landscapes Review by Julian Glover focused on the critical role the planning system plays in protecting National Parks, stressing the importance of each National Park Authority’s planning powers. This milestone report also recommended a strengthened place for national landscapes in the planning system.

“Our response to the Planning White Paper consultation focuses on nine clear areas and we look forward to working with Government to ensure than planning continues to conserve and enhance our protected landscapes on behalf of the nation.”

Read the full letter of response here:

Additionally, the Authority has worked closely with the other National Park Authorities and contributed to a separate National Parks England response on the White Paper.