National Park headquarters too remote for local participation

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The SDNPA, when it was set up in 2010, decided that it would have a single headquarters in the western sector of this 100 mile long National Park.

This means that planning decisions previously made either in County Hall or the district council offices here in Lewes are now held 45 miles away in a town which is virtually inaccessible by public transport.

By car it is 45 miles and if members of the public want to attend their daytime meetings, they are faced with taking the whole day off and, for many, this makes life very difficult.

Even local councillors here in Lewes have daytime jobs. The National Park is making it virtually impossible for councillors, local groups and members of the public to attend their meetings and speak to represent local views.

As one who has attended planning meetings in Midhurst and travelled from Lewes to do so, I can definitely say it takes a major chunk out of one’s life especially when you only get seven days’ notice that the subject you’re interested in is going to be covered.

I believe this ought to change and major planning decisions that affect areas over here in the east ought to be held here. I’m sure that the SDNPA could get the cooperation of the county, district or town councils in Lewes to hold a meeting here.

Personally I can’t see what the problem is, as there are only 11 members of the planning committee and at least three of these come from this neck of the woods!

Vic Ient

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