This information may be of interest to any member of the public, parish council or local organisation who are concerned about a current planning application in the South Downs National Park Authority area
Despite the Covid-19 crisis the Government has decided that the planning system must still remain in operation and should be seen as open, fair and impartial in order not to undermine confidence in the system. Many local planning authorities are now setting up virtual meetings for their planning committees so as to ensure the continuance of both the democratic process and transparency. However the South Downs National Park Authority has decided on a less democratic and transparent approach. Effectively all decisions can now be made by the Director of Planning. In the past, interested parties including parish councils and members of the public have been able to orally address the members of the planning committee if a recommendation has been made by the officers which adversely affects them. That option is now not available. In place of it is a watered-down system and the SDNPA arrangements for determining applications which would normally have been decided by the Planning Committee at the meeting scheduled for 14 May 2020 (now cancelled) are replicated below.
Because it will be the Director of Planning making all the decisions we implore members of the public who have made a representation about an application during the consultation phase to hone their skills at drafting their written submission of no more than 500 words. Not only should one submit comments on a particular application during the consultation phase but also keep a lookout on Wednesday 6 May 2020 on this web site: https://www.southdowns.gov.uk/national-park-authority/commitees-meetings/committees/planning-committee/planning-items-delegated-authority-may-2020/
If there is an application up for approval that affects you it appears you will have the opportunity of submitting your final appeal, as it were, to the Director of Planning in the hope that he may change his mind. Here is what the National Park say on their website
Due to the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, meetings of the South Downs National Park Authority’s (SDNPA) Planning Committee are not currently being held. Hence, in line with Government advice and the delegated responsibilities set out in the SDNPA’s Standing Orders the Director of Planning will issue certain decisions following consultation with members of the SDNPA Planning Committee.
Applications or other planning matters which would normally have been considered at a meeting of the SDNPA Planning Committee, but will now be delegated to the Director of Planning, will be published below. Anyone who has submitted a representation on planning matters published here will be notified on the day of publication in the normal way.
Anyone who ordinarily would have wished to speak at a meeting of the SDNPA Planning Committee on the application or matters for decision may choose to submit an additional representation of no more than 500 words. Please restrict this representation to any additional comments in light of the officer’s report. Any original comments on an application will already have been précised in the Officers Report to Members.
Timeline for planning items for delegation in May:
- Officer Reports for any planning items for delegated decision will be posted on this page by 5pm on Wednesday 6 May 2020
- The deadline for Public Comments is 10am, Thursday 14 May 2020
- A decision statement for each planning item from the Director of Planning will be posted by 5pm on Friday 29 May.
Planning items for delegation in May 2020 will appear here and anyone who has submitted a representation on planning matters published here will be notified on the day of publication in the normal way.