I am strongly against the formation a South Downs National Park for the following reasons:
1. We already are afforded sufficient planning protection by our elected District Councillors. What is the advantage of having another level of bureaucracy with no more protection?
2. It is unacceptable that Park Commissioners will have the power to override decisions of District Councillors to grant or refuse planning permission within the park area. The thought that Park Commissioners - situated at some far off locality – will somehow be in a better position to make better decisions is puzzling. A good example of the consequences of people at a distance taking decisions is the Countryside Agency’s mistake in creating a socially divisive boundary that includes Upper Farringdon but not Lower Farringdon. When asked why Lower Farringdon was left out, the Countryside Agency replied that at the time they drew up the boundary they did not realize that Farringdon was a single settlement! These are the people who will be responsible for planning and development decisions within the park boundary.
3. The South Downs National Park will be another very expensive quango. Ultimately we will be paying for the 46 members, plus their premises, plus their overheads. I would suggest that we cannot afford it. Over the last ten years our council rates have increased by over 100% and now there is talk of yet another substantial increase. Enough is enough!
4. Some of the proposed boundaries are absurd. I cannot see, for instance, why Farringdon (or even part of Farringdon) should be within the boundary. Farringdon is nowhere near the South Downs nor can we see the South Downs, even from its highest point. My own property (in Upper Farringdon) is half in and half out of the boundary.
Please submit your objections to this ridiculous idea.