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News - 25 October 2007
Toads Hole Valley

National Park Inquiry re-opens

The Secretary of State for DEFRA has decided to revisit a number of issues relating to the South Downs National Park including the additional areas that were recommended for inclusion – Brighton’s Toads Hole Valley being one of them.

Planning Inspector Mr Robert Neil Parry will re-open the inquiry at The Chatsworth Hotel in Worthing at 10am on Tuesday 12 February 2008.

He has been asked to consider, in the context of the terms of the original inquiry, the following specific issues: -

  • any implications for the Designation Order (as varied by the Variation Order) arising directly as a result of the revised National Parks legislation – amendments to the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 made by the Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006;
  • any implications for the Designation Order (as varied by the Variation Order) arising directly as a result of the High Court and Court of Appeal Judgments in the challenge by Meyrick Estate Management Ltd relating to the New Forest National Park;
  • the possible alternative boundary line from north of Petersfield running east across to Pulborough, produced by Natural England at Defra's request, based on a recommendation in the South Downs Inquiry Report Volume 1, Part 2 (para 2.71); and
  • those possible additional areas of land recommended for inclusion within the proposed South Downs National Park against which there have been objections.

A pre-inquiry meeting to discuss procedural and other arrangements has been arranged for 2pm on Tuesday 11 December 2007 at Hove Town Hall. No evidence will be heard at this meeting.

The Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership (BHEP) objected to the recommendation for the inclusion of Toad's Hole Valley in the National Park on the grounds that it is not of sufficient landscape quality and, being private property bounded by two busy trunk roads, does not offer any opportunities for peaceful recreation.

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