LETTER: Challenge for planning authority

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Greatham, near Pulborough, is once more under threat from a development proposal which would compromise its integrity as a historic hamlet that boasts a 12th century church and an ancient manor house, lovingly preserved through generations by its residents.

The Conservation Area of Greatham is in open country within the National Park. A Conservation Area is defined by English Heritage as of ‘special architectural interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance’. Its location within the Park also means that the criteria for any development must take into account National Park aims and purposes, of which the first two principles are to conserve and enhance the Park’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.

The Park Planning Authority will determine this application. As a relatively recently-formed planning body dealing only with the most sensitive and major applications, it is now testing its own strength in preserving the Park’s historic and natural patrimony. Along with many others who know and love the place, the Wiggonholt Association does not want to see a form of development that would change for ever the unique character of this tiny hamlet. They trust that the Park planners will apply the important principles on which the creation of the South Downs National Park was based and to reject this application.

Anyone not aware of this development proposal will find details at southdowns.gov.uk under referenceS SDNP/13/04908, SDNP/13/04909, SDNP/13/04910 and SDNP/13/04911. The application is in four parts but is essentially one large development.

The Wiggonholt Association is an environmental charity dedicated to the protection of the natural and built environment.

PETER FLATTER

Director, Wiggonholt Association, Mare Hill, Pulborough