Countryside Agency give backing to South Downs National Park

office at office at
Thu Dec 5 01:24:40 GMT 2002

The following recent development may stop in it's tracks the West Durrington urban "development" on land owned by the wealthy Somerset family near Worthing, West Sussex (Titnore Woods has been designated as part of the proposed area for the new National Park).

Historic Milestone Campaign welcomes unanimous backing for a South Downs National Park 
The South Downs Campaign (SDC)[1] is welcoming the Countryside Agency’s unanimous decision [2] to proceed with a South Downs National Park Designation Order. The Agency Board also agreed to include all the proposed new areas (See Titnore Wood at bottom of page) within the National Park. [3]
During its Board’s debate the Agency stressed that it had spent a lot of time trying to build consensus over the proposals and urged the public, special interest groups and local councils to work together with it to avoid a costly and prolonged public inquiry. The Agency now have to produce the formal legal documents which make up the Designation Order, sign them and forward them to the Government. It is likely the Designation Order will be signed in December and placed on deposit in January, with a public inquiry starting in late 2003. 
Robin Crane, Chairman of the South Downs Campaign said:
“This is a historic moment for the South Downs. 55 years ago they were one of 12 special landscapes recommended to be made a National Park [4]. Today, the South Downs are the only one of the 12 areas not to have the extra protection and funding that National Park status brings. This decision brings us a giant step closer to righting this wrong.
“I would like to pay tribute to my colleagues, who represent all the principal voluntary agencies, both national and local, who have worked tirelessly to support our campaign since its formation in 1990. I also thank the overwhelming majority of the public who have demonstrated their support for us.
“We would now urge that local councils set aside their differences and work with the Countryside Agency and local people to avoid a lengthy and costly public inquiry.
“The priority now must be to establish the National Park Authority as quickly as possible so that it can apply its greater powers and resources to protect and enhance our much-loved countryside.”
Notes to Editors:
[1] The South Downs Campaign is a network of organisations including: National – Council for National Parks, Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE), Friends of the Earth (FOE), Open Spaces Society, Ramblers’ Association, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), The Wildlife Trusts, WWF-UK, Youth Hostels Association (YHA); Regional/County – Council for British Archaeology – South East, CPRE Hampshire, CPRE Sussex, CTC South East, FOE South East, Ramblers’ Association Sussex, Ramblers’ Association Hampshire, Society of Sussex Downsmen, Sussex Archaeological Society, Sussex Wildlife Trust, YHA South Region; Local – Ashdown Rambling Club, Benfield Wildlife & Conservation Group, Bricycles, Brighton & Hove and Mid-Sussex FOE, Brighton Urban Wildlife Group, Chichester FOE, Cycle Lewes, Ditchling Society, East Blatchington Pond Conservation Society, East Hampshire CPRE, Eastbourne Ratepayers Association, Emsworth Residents Association, Friends of Lewes, Friends of the West End Henfield, Godalming and Haslemere Ramblers' Association, Keep Our Downs Public, Keep The Ridge Green, Kirdford Conservation Society, Lewes District FOE, Pells Amenity Group, Preston & Old Patcham Society, Ramblers' Association - Beachy Head Group, Ramblers' Association - Horsham and Billingshurst Group, Ramblers' Association - Meon Group, Ramblers' Association - South West Sussex Group, Slindon Common Residents' Association, South East Hants Ramblers' Association, Sussex Pathfinders Rambling Club, Sussex Ouse Restoration Trust, The Brighton Society, The Grace Eyre Foundation, The Kingscliffe Society, The Round Hill Society
[2] The Countryside Agency Board met yesterday (Thursday, November 14, 2002) to discuss the designation of the South Downs as a National Park. The meeting was held at the Countryside Agency’s headquarters in Cheltenham.
[3] Countryside Agency officers in their report to the Board recommended that the following areas also be included within the South Downs National Park. All these areas were approved for inclusion by the Board: 
o Greatham (whole village) 
o Land around Blackmoor 
o Woolmer Forest 
o Land near West Tisted 
o Slindon Common 
o Shillinglee Park, near Plaistow 
o Titnore Wood, Worthing 
o Green Ridge Coney Hill, Brighton 
o Ditchling (and land to the north up to the B2113)
[4] The South Downs were one of 12 special areas recommended to Government by Sir Arthur Hobhouse in 1947 to be made National Parks. Legislation was passed in 1949 allowing the first National Parks to be set up in the 1950s.
Robin Crane (Chairman) on 01730 812935
Chris Todd on 01273 563358 or 07889 302229 
Chris Todd
Campaign Officer
South Downs Campaign
PO Box 3473
Tel: 01273 563358
Fax: 01273 553044
Mob: 07889 302229
Email: southdowns at

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