‘Landscape led’ housing numbers proposed for South Downs National Park

South Harting which could take a small share of housing in the national park
South Harting which could take a small share of housing in the national park
  • The focus of the Local Plan housing proposals will be on affordable homes
  • 150 new homes are proposed for Midhurst
  • A further 150 new homes are proposed for Petworth
  • 40 per cent of all new housing will be affordable but landscape will always be put first

THE newest proposals to shape future housing development across the South Downs National Park have been released.

The proposed housing figures include 150 new houses in Midhurst over the next 18 years and a further 150 new houses in Petworth.

The figures are the latest proposals in the preparation of the South Downs National Park’s first Local Plan which is due to go out for consultation later this year.

1800 affordable houses are proposed across the park in an overall total of 4400 homes to be built including those which have already been granted planning permissions.

Villages in the Midhurst and Petworth area will share in the housing allocation with 20 new homes proposed in Easebourne, 11 at both Fernhurst -excluding the Syngenta site - and Rogate and smaller numbers in Stedham, South Harting, Northchapel and Fittleworth.

The figures are based on what the national park calls a ‘landscape led approach’.

National parks aren’t suitable places for unrestricted growth, and the first priority is to conserve the landscape.

Tim Slaney director of planning

Tim Slaney director of planning for the SDNPA said: “National parks aren’t suitable places for unrestricted growth, and the first priority is to conserve the landscape.

“But, with a vibrant local economy and house prices in the South Downs well above national and regional averages, we need to deliver housing to meet the needs of local people and keep our communities and rural economy thriving – now and in the future. This includes both affordable and market housing.

“The final Local Plan will set out the areas and where possible the likely figures for new houses in the National Park up to 2032 giving people certainty about the future of their towns and villages. There shouldn’t be any surprises as many of these figures have already been announced through the joint core Strategies we’ve developed in partnership with other local authorities.

“Our target is to keep at least 40 per cent of all new housing in the national park affordable but our landscapes will always have the highest possible level of conservation and we will always put these landscapes first.”

The new proposals will be considered by the SDNPA’s planning committee on Wednesday.

Other proposals for inclusion in the draft Local Plan which will be discussed include protecting tranquil areas, dark night skies and encouraging better design.