NEWS RELEASE – Whole Estate Plan first is a material gain with Wiston Estate and South Downs National Park Authority

Wiston estate, Whole Estate Plan, first, produced, South Down National Park AuthorityRural Solutions are delighted to share the news that their work with the Wiston Estate has come to fruition. The ‘Wiston Whole Estate Plan’ put together by Rural Solutions along with estate principal, Richard Goring over the last 12 months, was formally endorsed at the South Downs National Park Authority’s  (SDNPA) Resources and Performance Committee on 20th July 2017. 

This whole process and project is a first for the planning industry. It is the first time the process has been triggered by a planning authority and also the first time that National Park planning authority has carried out a formal endorsement as a material planning consideration via its statutory committee process. The plan, which has been produced by Rural Solutions executive director, Rob Hindle as co-author with Richard, will now need to be taken into account in the determination of any planning application by or relating to the 6,160 acre Wiston Estate.

Rural Solutions’ Rob Hindle said “We have worked with many clients over the years to produce estate scale plans which have been successfully promoted to the local authority to provide a broader contextual support for a series of planning applications. This however, is the first time that the process has been promoted by a planning authority. “We are delighted to have worked with Richard and his team at Wiston Estate and the officers at SDNPA to create this plan and secure such a powerful endorsement. The plan is grounded in sustainability and stewardship and will play a key part in enabling a series of projects which the estate seeks to bring forward to enhance environmental quality, improve access and deliver significant social and economic benefits. It really is a notable example set for other planning authorities to take such an approach.” 

Wiston Estates’ Richard Goring added further. “When the National Park invited landowners to produce a Whole Estate Plan we could see the value that it would bring, particularly given that we are in a period of succession between generations at Wiston. However, it was a daunting prospect to put together a plan which worked for both the family, the estate, the community and the National Park Authority. Rob was brilliant in forming a clear strategy for creating a plan and demystifying some of the planning language and expectations. I am delighted with the Whole Estate Plan, and excited to start delivering against its vision and objectives.

Goring continued, “An unexpected bonus has been the ‘why’ questions that have come up whilst making the plan. Rob and I have worked closely together over 12 months during which time we have addressed all sorts of other issues within and across the estate; a process which as improved the management and governance of the estate as well as generating a real shared purpose across both our family and the wider estate team.”

Whole Estate Plans were introduced by the SDNPA in their draft Local Plan. Their objective is to create a shared approach to landscape scale stewardship and sustainable development set against the objectives and special qualities of the National Park. 

Further details about Whole Estate Plans can be found on the South Downs website here.

Those Whole Estate Plans that, following review and interrogation by the National Park Authority receive formal endorsement will become a material planning consideration to be considered in any planning matter relating to land and property on the estate the plan relates to.

Full details of the Whole Estate Plan and the endorsement process can be found in the Agenda pack for the Committee (Agenda Item 16) here.

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