13 April 2000
U-turn on South Downs park

THE creation of a national park in the South Downs was closer on Thursday (13 April) after senior Countryside Agency officials U-turned and gave their support to government plans.

The agency had opposed the plans because the landscape does not have the rugged wilderness of many national parks.

A decision will be made today by the agencys board and, if approved, could draw 3 million of funding a year.

But The Times says that approval for the plans would leas to criticism from communities, led by West Sussex, who fear an influx of visitors and the loss of control over planning applications.