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.