The South Downs National Park Authority has received a major award from the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) for Excellence in Planning of its Local Plan
The regional award was given at a ceremony hosted by the RTPI at the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth.
This award comes National Park’s first Local Plan was adopted in July and replaced more than 1,000 overlapped policies that were in existence across the area of the National Park with 92 clear policies covering all aspects of planning.
After picking up the South East award for Excellence in Planning for the Natural Environment, the authority is now striving for a national award from the RTPI in the same category.
The local plan
The Plan covers the entire National Park for the next 14 years and rather than being “target-driven”, the policies in the Plan are based on the nationally-designated landscape.
The Local Plan delivers vital “ecosystem services”, which are the services provided by the environment, such as clean water and air, dark night skies and tranquillity.
The Plan sets out measures to mitigate climate change including that any major new developments should seek to be carbon neutral, have better drainage schemes to reduce flood risk and limit water consumption for new developments.
It includes over 50 Neighbourhood Plans developed by South Downs’ communities that provide local development management policies and allocate land for development.
Ian Tant, president of the Royal Town Planning Institute, said: “I’m delighted that the South Downs National Park Authority won the Award for Planning for the Natural Environment at the RTPI South East Awards for Planning Excellence.”
Lucy Howard, planning policy manager for the National Park, said: “It’s a huge honour to receive this award. It underlines the hard work, collaboration and emphasis on excellence that went into the creation of the National Park’s first Local Plan.
“Our adopted Local Plan puts our nationally important landscapes first and ensures that they sit at the heart of every planning decision we make.”