New blueprint drawn up by National Park authority could decide town’s future

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A NEW blueprint to decide how Petersfield will develop over the next 15 years is being drawn up.

Residents are being invited to have their say on the Petersfield Plan, which will provide a steer on all planning matters in the area for the next two decades.

The blueprint is being devised by the South Downs National Park Authority, which last month assumed responsibility for planning matters within the park boundary.

The authority has announced that it will be drawing up strategies for the main market towns – Petersfield, Midhurst and Lewes.

Residents will be able to find out more about the plan when it is officially launched at the town’s food festival on June 4.

A statement issued by the authority says the Petersfield Plan ‘will explore the local needs of the town in terms of housing, sustainable local employment, retail opportunities and key service roles’.

Margaret Paren, chairman of the NPA, said she was confident that the project will not cause a confusion of interest between the authority and East Hampshire District Council, which has been the planning authority for Petersfield and the surrounding area until now.

The district council will continue to be responsible for deciding most planning applications.

Cllr Patrick Burridge, council leader, said: ‘We welcome the opportunity of working together with the South Downs National Park Authority and the local community to plan a sustainable future for the town.’

People can find out more by visiting the stand in front of the George Inn, The Square, Petersfield, from 10am to 5pm on June 4.