THE SOUTH Downs National Park Authority will be officially opened for business this week.
On Friday the authority becomes fully operational and will provide planning services across the new National Park area.
It will deal with around 4,000 planning applications a year, making it the eighth largest planning authority in the country.
But the 15 local authorities within the boundaries of the park, including East Hampshire and Chichester, will provide delegated planning services in the first year and that agreement may be extended for up to two more years.
In practice it will mean that anyone wishing to make a small-scale planning application, for example to their home, should apply to their usual local authority.