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Boomtown Festival in the South Downs National Park gets go-ahead for 6 years!

In April 2019 the South Downs National Park Authority resolved to grant a further temporary planning permission, for another 6 years, to the Matterley Estate to change the use of approximately 2 square miles of downland from solely agriculture, enabling a music festival and a sports event to be held every year. In so doing they ignored Government advice not to grant more than one temporary planning consent and Government Policy that major development such as this should not be located in National Parks

This new permission will extend a similar 3-year temporary permission granted in 2016.  The permission covers over 1,200 acres (over 500 hectares) of open downland and woodland including an SSSI. The site includes the route of the South Downs Way (diverted during festivals).

To see how the Hampshire Chronicle reported the news CLICK HERE  The decision now means the site at Matterley Farm in the South Downs National Park, can carry on hosting the annual festival, which has dramatically increased in scale over recent years (last year’s attendance was 65,000 and the new consent gives plenty of room to double that at least) as well as an annual sports event until the end of 2024.  The new consent will be in addition to the existing, pre-National Park, consents for an international level motocross circuit, which attracts tens of thousands and a tank-driving course.


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Consultation response to further quarrying in the National Park

The Friends of the South Downs believe that there is not a rising demand for ‘soft sand’ and that we see no reason why further sites should be allocated in West Sussex; especially those in the National Park.

What’s at stake? The review shortlisted 9 sites. 7 inside the National Park and 2 just outside (starred *)  the Park:

  1. Buncton Manor Farm (new site), Washington
  2. Chantry Lane (Extension), Storrington and Sullington*
  3. Coopers Moor (Extension) Duncton
  4. Duncton Common (Extension) Duncton and Petworth
  5. East of West Heath Common (Extension) Harting and Rogate
  6. Ham Farm (new  site) Steyning and Wiston*
  7. Minsted West (Extension) Stedham with Iping
  8. Severals East (new site) Woolbeding with Redford
  9. Severals West (new site) Woolbeding with Redford

These, as well as those soft sand sites previously considered during the preparation of the Joint Minerals Local Plan, will be assessed for their suitability for potential allocation. The ‘soft sand review’ sets out three main issues for consideration which are:

  1. the need for soft sand;
  2. the strategy for soft sand supply; and
  3. potential sites and site selection.

The review relies solely upon the ‘Local Aggregates Assessments’ (LAA) to predict ‘needs’ from 2019 to 2033 (14 years). This LAA also relied up historical sales of the material to assess annual demand alongside the usage and to extrapolate future demand.


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Greater renewable energy focus needed in development for 226 homes at Old Malling Farm Lewes

Re: SDNP/18/06103/OUT, Old Malling Farm, Old Malling Way, Lewes, BN7 2DY: Outline approval for residential development comprising up to 226 dwellings with associated landscaping and parking, with access from Monks Way (All Matters Reserved except Access and Layout).

The Society objects to the development in its present form. We believe that the current plan should be referred back to the developer so that the road layout and access arrangements can be reviewed along with the submission of a revised sustainability assessment. Accordingly, the application should be deferred so that improvements to the application can be made.