Ambitions set out in new estate plan

The Wiston Estate has set out its commitment to the South Downs National Park. Picture: Mathew J Thomas
The Wiston Estate has set out its commitment to the South Downs National Park. Picture: Mathew J Thomas

Plans to regenerate a quarry into a sustainable base for tourism have been included in Wiston Estate’s commitment to the South Downs National Park.

The Whole Estate Plan also includes plans to create ‘tranquillity zones’, to do more to raise people’s awareness of their impact on wildlife and to create a monastic retreat and travellers’ rest.

The aim of the plan is to provide services and space for local businesses at the Wiston Estate, near Pulborough.

Wiston Estate has become the first in the South Downs National Park to set out a Whole Estate Plan.

Tim Slaney, director of planning for the South Downs National Park Authority, said: “We’ve been impressed by how the Wiston Estate and their consultants Rural Solutions have seized the opportunity to work with us on this progressive approach, their aspirations across the Estate and how they connect, and their commitment to the future of the South Downs National Park.

“Wiston’s Whole Estate Plan sets a high bar which we will encourage other estates, farms and landowners across the National Park to meet.”

Wiston Estate managers have been working with Rural Solutions – who provide planning and development support and advice to landowners – to help them adapt and develop their estates, on the Whole Estate Plan.

Rob Hindle, director at Rural Solutions, said: “We have worked with many clients over the years to produce estate-scale plans but this is the first time that the process has been promoted by a planning authority.

“The plan is grounded in sustainability and stewardship and will play a key part in enabling the estate’s plans for projects to enhance environmental quality, improve access and deliver significant social and economic benefits. It really is a notable example and I hope that other authorities will take notice of this approach.”

The plan, now endorsed by the South Downs National Park Authority, does not guarantee planning permission but will be a material consideration in determining planning applications.

Richard Goring, manager of Wiston Estate, said: “When the National Park invited landowners to produce a Whole Estate Plan we could see the value that it would bring to the Wiston Estate, particularly given that we are in a period of succession between generations.

“It was a daunting prospect to put together a plan which worked for both the family, the estate, the community and the National Park Authority.

“Rural Solutions helped us form a clear strategy and the process has helped us address other issues across the estate. I’m delighted with the plan and excited to start delivering against its vision and objectives.”