South Downs National Park planning decision at Cuckmere Haven reversed at Judicial Review!

In March we reported that the National Park ignored their own policies and legal obligations “to conserve and enhance” in giving the go-ahead to intrusive works at Seven Sisters cliffs!

At a Judicial Review hearing on 25th June 2021, the High Court overturned the proposed reconstruction and extension of sea defences which threatened the internationally important chalk reef at Cuckmere Haven. Sussex Wildlife Trust, with guidance from the Environmental Law Foundation, applied for a Judicial Review of the Planning Authority’s decision in February to approve the proposals. In response to their legal action, South Downs National Park Authority and the Cuckmere Haven SOS organisation have agreed that there was a failure to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment, which is a required part of this type of decision-making process. Read more.

For a copy of the High Court Decision which quashed the SDNPA permission click below:


One thought on “South Downs National Park planning decision at Cuckmere Haven reversed at Judicial Review!

  1. Common sense prevails. Why did it take a legal challenge to achieve this? For nearly 100 years people fought for better protection of the South Downs, having to endure damage and destruction, finally celebrating in the confirmed designation as a National Park, the highest level of UK landscape protection, in 2009.

    Questions are being rightly asked over the ethos of the National Park Authority (NPA) with such suspect decisions being made. It’s reassuring that the legal system is upholding that protection afforded to the South Downs, even if the NPA isn’t.

    With increasing climate change extreme weather events and rising sea levels, these cottages are fast nearing the end of their lives. Like Birling Gap, just west of here on this Sussex Heritage Coast, as the chalk cliffs erode nearer to each cottage in turn, so they need to be removed. Alternatively, as one of these holiday homes is owned by a multi-millionaire and there is a charity set up to raise public funds for saving our seashore (SOS) cottages they could be rebuilt a little further inland, giving the owners the opportunity for a more authentic-looking and better constructed little ex-coastguard cottage terrace.

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