Winchester City Council and the South Downs National Park Authority working in partnership

Winchester City Council and South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) will be working in partnership from 1 April 2011, providing planning services in the National Park.

The South Downs National Park Authority becomes a fully operational planning authority on 1 April 2011, and from this date will be responsible for all planning in the National Park. This means that the National Park Authority will deal with about 4,000 planning applications a year, making it the 8th largest planning authority in the country.

In the spirit of real partnership working, the National Park Authority invited all 15 Local Authorities within the National Park to provide many of the day to day planning services on its behalf. All 15 Local Authorities, including Winchester City Council, agreed to do this during the summer of 2010. A binding legal agreement was signed and completed in November 2010 committing all of the Local Authorities to work with the SDNPA towards delivering the planning service in this way for the first year. More detailed agreements are expected to be signed soon extending these arrangements for up to 2 more years.

‘What this means is that each local planning authority will determine most of the planning applications submitted within the National Park under the agency agreement, and provide all the planning administration for the South Downs National Park Authority,” said Simon Finch, Head of Planning from Winchester City Council. ‘However, the South Downs National Park Authority will determine the more potentially significant applications, and retain overall policy control. In practice it will mean that anyone wishing to make a small-scale planning application (eg to their home) would apply to their local council as normal. By working in partnership with the National Park Authority, we aim to provide a seamless and cost effective service’.

Jim Redwood Head of Planning at South Downs National Park Authority added, ‘We are committed to working in real and meaningful partnership with local communities in the National Park, and to provide a seamless transition in services for residents’.

Those living or working within the National Park boundary should continue to submit planning applications to the Local Authority in the normal way. Those submitting applications through the Planning Portal will be automatically routed to the relevant local planning authority.

Further information about the SDNPA can be found from their website