Overview of Development in South Downs National Park vs the rest of the District


The majority of the northern part of Chichester District, excluding the north eastern parishes, falls within the National Park designated area. The National Park published its last Annual Monitoring Report in December 2020 and looking at that, we thought it would be interesting to highlight some acute differences between the designated park area and the rest of Chichester District in terms of its planning policy housing obligations...

The first point to make is that geographically there is a north/south split with roughly 50% of Chichester District in the north within the National Park designated area, with the remainder in the south outside the park.

The National Park is not just confined to the north part of Chichester District of course, but stretches from Winchester and East Hants in the west to Lewes in the east.

The National Park Local Plan was adopted in July 2019 and sets out an overall housing provision of about 4,750 net additional dwellings up to 2033 for this entire area.

This compares with the rest of Chichester District outside the designated park area, which is having to plan to meet its own needs for around 12,000 houses up to roughly the same end date in its emerging Local Plan.

The squeeze of development south of the park area into the A27 corridor around Chichester (and in Arun District too) is now beginning to show. It’s food for thought though that this is not so much down to the quantum of housing, but rather a consequence of the National Park which has reduced the available area for development to the most sustainable areas along the A27 corridor.

But even these areas are facing future capacity constraints from additional traffic impacts along the A27, foul water capacity constraints and potential embargos on development that cannot mitigate nitrates discharging to Chichester and Langstone Harbours.

In the south, development is constrained by the Chichester Harbour AONB, areas at risk of flood and now we have the ‘water neutrality’ constraint in the north east parishes of the District as well.

All the above will certainly present a challenge to CDC in deciding where future housing in the emerging Local Plan will go.    

For all information on the South Downs National Park Planning policies and response to the Government White Paper, please go to their website's planning page on https://www.southdowns.gov.uk/planning-policy/.

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