Value increase for homes in South Downs park

Homes in the South Downs National Park could set buyers back an extra £100,000, according to the latest statistics released from the Halifax National Parks Review.

Daniel Clay, Head of Agency at Smiths Gore in Petworth, agreed homes in the new national park were commanding bigger price tags.

He said: “With the inevitable increase in tourism into the area, we have seen a significant uplift in the value of cottage sales and rentals.

“There is certainly a premium to be commanded if the property lies within the boundary of the national park and it is apparent estate agents and property owners make reference to the national park status.

“The downside to this is it puts further pressure on affordable homes in the rural areas in West Sussex.

“The South Downs is already a relatively-expensive part of the country to purchase property, particularly for agricultural and key workers.”

In the meantime, Chichester District Council is launching a public consultation on how many new homes should be provided across the district – excluding the new national park – and where they should go.

Cllr Janet Duncton, cabinet member for housing and planning, said: “We desperately need more affordable housing, but the recession has slowed things down.

“We know we have to cater for population growth and we want to hear from residents, developers and partners on what they think we should be providing, and where.”

A four-week informal consultation is scheduled to start on August 26 and comments will also be invited on a range of different housing targets, with options including:

- 12 to 20 new homes a year in the area including Kirdford, Loxwood and Wisborough Green.

- 305 to 415 new homes a year in the south of the district.

Five alternative options for locating new housing in the south of the district up to 2028 have been outlined in a detailed report.

Each gives a different priority to development in Chichester city itself, Tangmere, East Wittering and Bracklesham, Selsey and Southbourne and across the smaller villages. The aim is to identify suitable development locations for inclusion in a new planning blueprint.

In the north of the district, excluding the national park, the overall targets being considered are described as ‘relatively low’, with specific sites yet to be identified.