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21 March 2017

Downland sites at Poynings and Plumpton

Interim statement from the cross party Policy Review Panel:
Downland sites at Poynings and Plumpton

(Full recommendation will be presented to Policy Resources and Growth Committee on 4 May 2017)

"The council has been considering the sale of two small downland sites at Poynings and Plumpton for several years. The sale was previously approved by committee in 2014 and 2016. These heavily protected sites were due to be sold for continued agricultural use, not development.

“After reviewing the situation, a cross party Policy Review Panel has taken the view that the sites at Poynings and Plumpton should not be sold at this time.

“The panel’s recommendation was made after councillors looked at the council’s approach to the Downland Asset Management Policy and heard evidence from expert witnesses. The sale of the sites was due to generate an estimated £360,000 and, if approved at committee, would result in a shortfall of the projected budget.

“The cross party working panel will meet for two further meetings to complete their review of the city's Urban and Rural Asset Management Policy. The panel’s work includes hearing further evidence from local stakeholders and experts before reporting back with all their recommendations to May’s Policy, Resources & Growth Committee where the final decisions will be made.”  

Additional information:

As part of the process, the panel looked at the funding strategy for the Stanmer Park Restoration Project because the income from the sale of the sites was previously linked to securing the £3.9m Heritage Lottery Fund awarded to this innovative renovation. The panel’s view was that the fundraising strategy for the Stanmer Project is currently anticipated to over achieve its target, allowing the plans to now continue without the need to sell the two sites.