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Whole Estate Plan endorsed in South Downs

Words: Laura Edgar
Wiston Estate

The South Downs National Park Authority has endorsed Wiston Estate’s Whole Estate Plan, which proposes to create tranquillity zones and regenerate a quarry into a sustainable tourism base.

The plan is the first one to be set out by an estate in the national park. It considers planning, farming, woodland management conservation and access.

It doesn’t guarantee planning permission, but will be a material consideration in determining planning applications.

The Whole Estate Plan states that the estate will work alongside local neighbourhood planning groups to enable future housing to sustain a diverse community.

It also looks at climate change, pressure of development, changes to subsidies following Brexit, and rural business adaptation.

Wiston Estate worked with Rural Solutions, which provides planning and development support to landowners on developing their estates on the Whole Estate Plan.

Tim Slaney, director of planning for the South Downs National Park Authority, said the authority is impressed by how the Wiston Estate and their consultants Rural Solutions worked with it on this “progressive approach”.

“Wiston’s Whole Estate Plan sets a high bar which we will encourage other estates, farms and landowners across the national park to meet.”

Rob Hindle, director at Rural Solutions, said: “The plan is grounded in sustainability and stewardship and will play a key part in enabling the estate’s plans for projects to enhance environmental quality, improve access and deliver significant social and economic benefits. It really is a notable example and I hope that other authorities will take notice of this approach.”

Richard Goring, manager of Wiston Estate, said: “When the national park invited landowners to produce a Whole Estate Plan we could see the value that it would bring to the Wiston Estate, particularly given that we are in a period of succession between generations.”

He said the process of producing the plans has helped it address issues across the estate.

The Whole Estate Plan can be found on the South Downs National Park website.