South Downs Local Plan: Preferred Options

Document Section South Downs Local Plan: Preferred Options Spatial Portrait - The National Park Today Introduction Introduction [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID 1763
Respondent Smiths Gore (Mr Ben Wood) [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 28 Oct 2015
Current Status Accepted
Do you support, object or wish to make comments on this section of the Local Plan?
  • Support with changes
  • Have comments


The Barlavington Estate (hereafter referred to as the "Estate") would like to thank the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) for the opportunity to comment on the Preferred Options Local Plan (hereafter referred to as the "Plan"). As the strategic planning document that will shape the future of the National Park, it is an important document and one that needs to create the right balance of social, economic and environmental objectives.


The role the Plan will play in future planning decisions will be critical, and it is important that the Plan successfully achieves this balance through its policies. It is also important that the policies are flexible enough to allow landowners to respond to changing economic circumstances and are proportionate to the amount and type of development  proposed so that  they do not create an unnecessary burden on new development. This will be key to achieving a successful and sustainable rural economy throughout the National Park area.


Summary of the Estate's Position:

Generally, the Estate supports the Plan and recognises the significant effort that has gone into creating a planning document that consolidates the local policy of 15 local planning authorities (LPAs). However, there are a number of areas where more work will be required before the Plan could be considered sound, and these form the basis of this representation. It is also disappointing that key evidence documents (e.g. Tranquillity Study), which inform the Plan are not available to view. The Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA), another key piece of evidence underpinning the Plan, was also not available when the consultation began on 2nd September 2015. [para from "It is also disappointing..." to "2nd September 2015" will be repeated against section 'Appendix 4' of the Plan]


About the Estate:

The majority of the Barlavington Estate was purchased by Sir Ian Anstruther in the late 1950s. The Estate is focussed around the hamlet of Barlavington, east of Duncton. it comprises a total area of approximately 1,295 hectares (3,200 acres) and lies entirely within the boundary of the National Park.


The Estate includes land and properties falling within the parishes of Barlavington, Duncton, Sutton, Fittleworth, Bury and Coldwaltham. The Estate extends from Duncton in the west through to Watersfield in the east, extends north to Shopham, and south just over Duncton Hill.


The Estate makes a significant and important contribution to the National Park and rural economy through the direct employment of staff and indirect employment through tenanted farms and businesses. It has a long term commitment to  maintaining and strengthening its role in the local community, rural economy and environment through its varied activities and its strong and committed strategic management. The Estate takes these responsibilities very seriously through its established management structure, but the changing economics of the countryside mean that it must continually diversify its income streams if it is to remain financially viable. The emerging SDNPA Local Plan is therefore of great importance to the Estate.