Under the original proposals, the council's housing need, which is identified using the Government's standard process, would have risen from 634 to 995 properties per year in the Chichester Plan area alone, which excludes those areas that are within the South Downs National Park.

"We really welcome the Government's announcement and are so pleased that they have listened to our concerns on this matter," says Cllr Susan Taylor, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Planning at Chichester District Council.

"As part of our argument we highlighted the various constraints upon development that we are currently facing and asked them to withdraw their proposals to increase housing numbers within the Chichester Local Plan area.

"This outcome means that our housing need will remain as it was and instead, there will be more emphasis on delivering homes in larger cities across the country.

"A strong local planning system is an essential component of delivering sustainable development, community cohesion and a healthy environment. The right development, in the right place, has the potential to deliver social equity and sustainable economic growth, as well as meeting our environmental ambitions. The announcement made by the Government will enable this approach to continue.

"We now look forward to continuing to work with our communities to shape our Local Plan and Neighbourhood Plans, which will keep decision making locally."

Councillors at Chichester District Council agreed their response to the Government's consultation in September. They asked for the Government to recognise the genuine and extensive constraints upon development that the district faces. They also encouraged the Government to support local democracy through the Local Plan and Neighbourhood Plan processes, to encourage meaningful community involvement and influence.

Date of release: 17 December 2020

Reference: 3961